When people hear the words “birth injuries,” they usually assume the worst: permanent brain damage, paralysis or deformities. While each of these outcomes is heartbreaking, there are some birth injuries that are less conspicuous and yet still dangerous, and they happen in hospitals every day. We wanted to make you aware of some other types of birth injuries that could cause your child undue stress or difficulties later on in life.
- Oxygen deprivation. One of the leading causes of brain damage, oxygen deprivation is a common birth injury and the result of more common birth defects. Even the shortest amount of time without oxygen can permanently damage an infant’s developing brain. A difficult labor may result in oxygen deprivation, as could an OB/GYN failing to perform a C-section in time, or failing to recognize the umbilical cord’s position around a baby’s neck.
- Jaundice. While jaundice in and of itself is not a birth defect – it’s caused by excess bilirubin levels, and may even go away on its own – a doctor’s failure to perform adequate checks or follow-up care could be potentially fatal. That’s because jaundice is sometimes a symptom of a much more serious underlying infection or injury, such as internal bleeding.
- Birth-acquired herpes. A mother can pass along the herpes virus to her newborn during a vaginal birth. The safer bet is to have a C-section. A doctor who does not inform a mother of this option puts the newborn at risk for an incurable virus.
- Soft tissue injuries. These often happen during breech births, but may occur whenever excessive force is applied. The back muscles are especially susceptible, and in some breech cases damage can be done to the baby’s labia or scrotum.
Sometimes these conditions will clear up on their own, but sometimes they lead to physical and cognitive difficulties later on for the child. Unlike birth defects, which may be uncontrollable, birth injuries are largely avoidable. Each of the conditions we described could have life-long implications on your child’s health.
If you child suffered through a birth injury and you’d like more information, please contact us at www.rockylawfirm.com.