Thursday, December 15, 2011

Common Birth Injuries That Expecting Parents Should Watch Out For


Identifying the Warning Signs of Birth Injury

What is Birth Injury?

Birth injury is described as a trauma that happens to a newborn baby during the birthing process. These issues can be very serious and can affect the child for the rest of their lives. In some cases, birth injuries lead to death of the infant. A birth injury is far different from a birth defect. Birth defects are caused by genetics, illness, or harmful substances that the mother may have ingested. Although a serious concern, birth defects are not the fault of the hospital or physician in charge. However, a birth injury could be caused by the hospital staff. This is a physical injury that could have possibly been prevented.

Common Types of Birth Injury

There are many injuries that occur at birth that could not be prevented by even the most professional staff. Other problems such as cerebral palsy may have possibly been due to a medical mistake. Listed below are several types of birth injuries that new parents should be aware of.

A very common injury is bruising of the baby's scalp. This is generally not a malpractice issue due to the extreme amount of pressure put on the head of the baby during exit of the birth canal. The baby's skin may also have bruising, scratching, or mild bleeding. This will all disappear in a couple of weeks and is normally nothing to be concerned about.

There are many issues that are a cause for concern including face paralysis of the newborn. This is a problem that could be caused by the improper use of forceps to deliver the baby. In some cases, this may go away on its own. Other times, surgery on the newborn may be required.

Another common problem is an infant being born with a broken collarbone. This happens when the baby gets their shoulder bone stuck behind the pelvis of the mother. This could cause lack of oxygen for the infant and lead to brain damage. A physician who is responsible will act fast in this situation. Depending on the situation, the shoulder bone of the infant is broken and other times the pelvic bone on the mother will be broken. In either case, fast action is required to prevent brain damage.

Erb's palsy is another type of birth injury. This condition can affect the usage of the arm of the newborn. In this case, nerves are damaged at the point where the arm and shoulder meet. Total loss of usage of this limb may occur. Medical treatment along with therapy is required to regain use of the arm. More severely, a condition called cerebral palsy may occur. Cerebral palsy is a condition that results in brain damage of the child. This is due to the lack of oxygen going to the brain during birth. The child who becomes a victim of cerebral palsy will usually have permanent brain damage for the remainder of their life. They may require feeding tubes, and never be able to talk or hear. Seizures are common with this condition as well. Often children with cerebral palsy need supervision and care 24 hours a day.

Other Birth Injury Warning Signs

Other signs that new parents should be aware of to determine a birth injury are jerkiness, seizures, trembling, speech problems, problems holding things, limpness, failure to cry, poor balance, and retardation. If you suspect that your newborn has a birth injury, it is important to speak to a specialist immediately.
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This is a guest post provided by Andres & Berger, P.C, New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys who are nationally recognized and have a reputation for excellence.