What Causes Birth Trauma?

The birth of a child is an exciting time. After nine long months, you’re finally going to be able to meet the baby you’ve been longing to meet and start your life as a new family. For many new parents, they dream about who their child is going to grow up to be. That is why when you learn that your child suffered a preventable birth trauma, it is so devastating.  It is not something you ever expect. 

What is Birth Trauma?

Birth trauma is an umbrella term to describe any injury to the infant during the delivery process. Unfortunately, birth injuries can come in different forms. Statistics show that approximately 7 out of every 1,000 babies will sustain an injury at birth, with many of them being the direct result of medical negligence. The most common forms of birth injuries are:

  • Prenatal asphyxia 
  • A collarbone fracture
  • Bruising caused by use of forceps
  • Facial paralysis, requiring surgery if the nerve was severely torn
  • Brachial palsy, caused by an injury to the group of nerves supplying the hands and arms with movements
  • Cephalohematoma, which is an area of bleeding between the skull bone and the fibrous covering
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage, which occurs when a baby’s blood vessels in the eyes break
  • Periventricular leukomalacia, which is caused by oxygen deprivation
  • Kernicterus, which is a permanent brain injury that results from a baby’s jaundice being improperly treated. This kind of injury can also result in cerebral palsy. 

One of the most common forms of birth injuries though is Cerebral Palsy and Erb’s Palsy. Cerebral Palsy can have a variety of causes, including but not limited to infection, fetal stroke, traumatic head injuries and lack of oxygen. Erb’s Palsy, on the other hand, can be caused by the baby being pulled or stretched during delivery. It can also be caused if the baby is in a breech position or if the baby is much larger than the birth canal. 

How Does Negligence Occur During Labor and Delivery?

When a mother goes to the hospital to deliver, she trusts that her doctor and the rest of the medical staff treating them will monitor both her and the baby’s safety. While unexpected complications can arise during the labor and delivery process, it’s how the medical professional reacts to these complications that can lay the basis for whether medical malpractice has occurred. As such, medical malpractice may occur as a result of the following:

  • The doctor failed to order a C-section in a timely manner
  • The doctor failed to diagnose and treat any conditions prior to delivery
  • The doctor failed to diagnose a preterm birth
  • The doctor prescribed the wrong medication
  • The doctor used forceps and vacuum extractors incorrectly
  • The doctor failed to treat excessive bilirubin, which can cause jaundice
  • The doctor failed to recognize and/or treat umbilical cord problems
  • The doctor failed to properly identify or respond to fetal distress
  • And more

If you believe your child was injured as a result of medical negligence during the labor and delivery process, the birth injury lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C. can help. Call us today for a consultation: 215-822-7575

Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney For A Consultation About Your Birth Case In Pennsylvania

Were you or a loved one injured due to medical malpractice in Pennsylvania? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Colmar medical malpractice attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Lansdale, King of Prussia, Norristown, and Newtown. Call us today at (215) 822-7575 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 2605 N. Broad St., Colmar, PA 18915, and we also have an office in Newtown.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.