A birth injury may be the result of many different factors or one tragic mistake. There are many conditions that may be present in a newborn, which, if treated, will not result in permanent or long-lasting birth injuries. However, failure to treat these conditions can result in trauma to your child with ramifications that last a lifetime.
Now, you are faced with endless questions. Did the doctor miss something? Could the injury have been prevented? Was there treatment that could have been administered that would have minimized or eliminated the severity of the birth injury? Attorneys at Stern Law, PLLC can help you answer these questions: Call (800) 462-5772 for a free consultation.
What causes birth injury?
There are many different newborn health conditions that can lead to severe birth injuries. These are a few of the more common injuries:
- Jaundice – This medical symptom can indicate many different problems, including Rh and ABO incompatibility, a traumatic injury that has led to internal bleeding, a genetic disorder, or a liver disorder. Doctors often dismiss jaundice as being a common condition resulting from the relative trauma of delivery. However, missing the serious underlying medical problem that may have caused the jaundice can have tragic consequences.
- Respiratory distress – This is more common in pre-term babies. If it is not diagnosed and treated quickly, it can lead to brain hemorrhage, bleeding into the lungs, developmental delays, and blood clots. This also leads to death in infants, primarily within the first month.
- Cephalohematoma – This is a collection of blood between the skull and the periosteum that can lead to an increased chance of jaundice if left untreated.
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy – This is a brain injury typically caused by asphyxia due to decreased oxygen to being delivered to the brain. If the condition goes untreated, it can lead to severe seizures in the newborn, causing serious brain injury and even death.
- Brain or head trauma – There are many circumstances during delivery that can lead to a head injury, including the use of forceps or vacuum extraction. This can lead to serious birth injuries, including brain damage from hypoxia.
- Central nervous system infection – An infection may have been transmitted from you to your baby during pregnancy or delivery or it may have developed shortly after delivery. Although there are still some questions about the causes of cerebral palsy in infants, an untreated central nervous system infection is one of the generally agreed-upon causes.
- Intracranial hemorrhage – Also known as brain bleeds, this classification of injury refers to any bleeding within the skull. There are many causes of this health condition, but it may be caused by delivery of a high birth weight baby, a difficult labor caused by the mother’s small pelvic bone, breech presentation, or shoulder dystocia, or trauma from prolonged labor. Infants with this condition may be lethargic, have seizures, not feed well, or have sleep apnea.
- General distress – This is a catch-all classification that indicates that there is a problem with the newborn. It may be measured by heart rate irregularities, a low Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration (Apgar) score, or other monitored vital statistics.
- Metabolic defects – This defect in the body chemistry of a newborn may be caused by a compromised chemical pathway or body process. This may result in a failure to thrive or difficulty feeding. It is important to identify this type of health condition before your newborn’s health is seriously compromised.
Although this is only an overview of the many different health conditions that can negatively impact the health and development of your newborn, it is clear that a doctor or other medical professional who fails to properly monitor the health of a newborn can lead to tragic birth injuries.
The dreams for your child’s future were changed irrevocably when you learned that your child had suffered a birth injury and now faces a lifetime of medical, physical, emotional, and social challenges. Stern Law, PLLC can pursue the justice your child deserves. Call (800) 462-5772 to discuss legal options with a qualified attorney.