There are a number of common birth injuries that are actually avoidable if a physician is alert to the signs that they could happen and takes the proper precautions during labor and delivery.
Some of the most common birth injuries include:
- Lacerations and bruising of the infant’s scalp due to the use of forceps or vacuum extraction
- Facial paralysis due to injuries to the fifth cranial nerve or another nerve in the baby’s face either due to pressure during labor and birth or the use of forceps
- Broken bones, particularly to the clavicle (collarbone) or the infant’s shoulder, which can occur when the infant is really too large for a natural delivery and is stuck in the birth canal
- Brachial palsy, which can leave one or both of an infants hands and arms damaged due to injury to the nerve bundle that controls both arms
These injuries are almost always preventable during a birth if a doctor is paying attention to the warning signs that spell trouble for a delivery. These include:
- A large infant — any baby estimated to weigh more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces, should be delivered by a C-section
- A mother with a small pelvis — known as cephalopelvic disproportion — that could make vaginal births impossible
- Prolonged labor — especially if there is a failure to progress over time through the normal stages
- A baby that is in a breech position — meaning feet or buttocks down instead of head down
If your infant was injured during delivery and suffered serious complications because the doctor attending the birth ignored the obvious clues that there could be problems, find out more about your right to compensation. Our office can help you learn more.