The birth of a newborn should be a joyful time in their parents’ lives. For many Eugene parents-to-be, the months leading up to childbirth are filled with planning, preparing, and anticipating just how much their lives will change once their babies are born. Few parents focus on the potentially challenging or dangerous risks that mothers and babies face when labor and delivery occur.
Though many babies are born healthy and ready to thrive, not all newborns experience positive entrances into the world. For some, birth injuries and medical mistakes threaten their health and safety and put them at disadvantages once they are out of their mothers’ wombs. In some cases, birth injuries can be deadly and devastating to expectant families.
Earlier this month a popular reality television star experienced the absolute heartbreak of losing a child during the labor and delivery process. The baby suffered from two labor complications – shoulder dystocia and a compressed umbilical cord – and ultimately did not live. No parent should have to deal with a stillborn birth that may have been preventable through proper medical care.
Birth injuries do not always result in deaths but can threaten the future health of children who suffer from them. This post will discuss the two mentioned birth complications in more detail but readers should be aware that the contents of this post provide no medical or legal advice. Those who have suffered losses due to birth injuries and medical mistakes can take their questions and concerns to personal injury attorneys who work in this area of the law.
Shoulder dystocia is a birth complication that occurs when a baby’s head passes through the birth canal but its shoulder becomes caught within. It delays labor and puts stress on both the affected mother and baby. In some cases, shoulder dystocia results in Erb’s palsy, a post-birth condition that may impact the child’s ability to move.
Doctors can identify patients who may face problems during labor such as shoulder dystocia. For example, large babies may have more difficult times getting through the birth canals, and mothers who experienced shoulder dystocia in prior pregnancies may be more likely to experience it in subsequent labors. Medical professionals should assess their material patients to determine if they are at risk for experiencing shoulder dystocia.
Compressed Umbilical Cord
A compressed umbilical cord, also called an umbilical cord prolapse, may happen if the umbilical cord passes into the birth canal before the baby. When this occurs the weight and pressure of the baby moving into the canal can compress the umbilical cord and rob the baby of the support it needs to survive before it is delivered. As with shoulder dystocia, doctors can monitor mothers and babies to ensure that they are not experiencing this serious form of birth injury and should act quickly if it occurs.
In addition to the conditions above, stillbirths can also be caused by Premature Rupture of Membrane (PROM). This can lead to deadly intrauterine infections that quickly develop and can lead to the death of the baby and mother. Prompt diagnosis of water breakage and delivery within 24 hours is vital to avoid this very real complication.
Birth injuries that result in stillborn births are tragedies that impose impossible hardships on parents. No legal action can undo the pain of losing a child, but certain claims can help parents hold negligent medical practitioners accountable for the wrongs they have committed. Legal support may help some grieving families address their questions about their rights.