It is devastating for an Oregon family to learn that their newborn baby suffered an injury during the birth process. Birth can be unpredictable and risky for both the mother and the baby, which is why doctors and care providers must be especially vigilant and cautious. Birth injuries can range in type and severity, and they have the potential to cause long-term or even permanent damage.
If your child suffered a birth injury, you may be wondering how it happened and what your family should do next. You may have grounds to pursue a civil claim, but it is in your interests to first seek an understanding of what types of poor decisions or negligence played a role in what happened to your child. Common birth injuries are often the result of preventable mistakes and errors.
Factors that impact the chance of an injury
There are certain factors that could increase the chance of a birth injury occurring. For instance, a large baby could have a more difficult delivery, and a cesarean delivery may be necessary. Birth injuries are also more likely when the baby is premature. Prolonged labor, problems with the mother’s birth pelvis, maternal obesity and other factors can lead to a higher chance of injuries to the baby. Doctors should be aware of the presence and potential issues caused by these factors and others.
Types of birth injuries
There are certain types of injuries that are more common during difficult deliveries. Any of these have the potential to cause long-term complications. They include the following:
- Damage from forceps use — Forceps can cause damage, ranging from minor bruising to damage to the nerves in the arms or legs.
- Brachial palsy — This can happen when there is damage to certain nerves during delivery, often happening when there are complications delivering the shoulder.
- Fracture — Fractures can happen during rough deliveries, such as during a breech delivery or when there are problems delivering the shoulder. Severe fractures may also result in nerve damage if they don’t heal properly.
Even if your child’s birth injury seems minor, and he or she will likely make a full recovery, your baby’s pain and suffering could be the result of a type of medical malpractice. If you suspect this is what happened, you would be wise to seek legal guidance regarding the potential legal options available to you. Your family does not have to navigate the complex aftermath of a birth injury alone but will benefit from seeking an assessment of the individual case.