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What are the risk factors for birth injuries?

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Birth injuries are not only distressing for families but can also have long-lasting financial repercussions. It is important for parents who find themselves navigating these issues to learn about the risk factors associated with birth injuries, including potential causes and the implications these injuries may have on the child’s and family’s future.

What causes birth injuries?

Birth injuries can range from mild to severe and may result in temporary or permanent disabilities. Recognizing the risk factors is crucial for parents to understand the challenges they might face.

Some of the more common risk factors can include:

  • Short-staffed hospitals.
  • Misuse of Pitocin / oxytocin to induce labor.
  • Prolonged or particularly rapid labor.
  • Premature birth, as the infant’s body is more vulnerable.
  • Large baby size, which can complicate a vaginal delivery.
  • Breech presentation, increasing the risk of injury during delivery.
  • Maternal obesity or diabetes.
  • Multiple births, which can lead to a higher risk of complications.
  • Infections that can be transmitted to the baby during delivery.
  • Improper use of birth-assisting tools like forceps or vacuum extractors.

With proper intervention, medical teams can help reduce the risk that these factors lead to injury. A delay in performing a necessary Cesarean Section, inadequate monitoring of the baby’s heart rate, or a failure to detect or properly manage a prolapsed umbilical cord can mean the team does not intervene as needed. This can contribute to injury to the infant and mother.

What is the long-term impact of a birth injury?

Those who suffer from a birth injury may require lifelong medical care for conditions like cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy. Additional needs can include:

  • Specialized educational needs due to developmental delays or disabilities.
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs.
  • Emotional and psychological support for the child and family members.
  • Legal expenses if pursuing compensation for medical negligence.

Birth injuries can profoundly affect a family’s emotional well-being and financial stability. Understanding the risk factors is the first step in recognizing potential medical negligence and preparing for the associated long-term expenses. If your child has sustained a birth injury, it is essential to consult with legal and medical professionals to assess your situation and plan for your child’s needs. The journey ahead may be challenging, but with the right support and information, families can navigate these complexities and secure the necessary care for their children.