The Five Most Common Birth Injuries

The Five Most Common Birth Injuries

Serious birth injuries, like the ones outlined below, are much more common in the United States than in other developed countries. In fact, many pediatricians now recommend that mothers under 35 with no pregnancy complications and no history of pregnancy complications, give birth at home. Newborns are so fragile that even a slight irregularity during the labor, delivery, recovery, postpartum (LDRP) process could cause a lifelong injury. That said, the American Academy of Pediatrics still recommends hospital births.

Families who suffer a birth injury to their newborn face many years of sky-high medical bills, a fact that makes many of them uninsurable. To get the financial resources they need to live day to day, these families could rely on government or charitable handouts and hope for the best.

Or they can partner with an experienced birth injury lawyer and take control of their lives. A birth injury lawyer can also obtain compensation for noneconomic losses (such as emotional distress), so these families have brighter futures.

If you or a loved one has a child who is the victim of a birth injury, contact The Yost Legal Group today: 1-800-YOST-LAW. You may be entitled to significant compensation.

Brachial Plexus Injuries

Like many other birth injuries, shoulder dystocia (SD) often causes brachial plexus injuries. When babies are too large to glide down the mother’s narrow birth canal, doctors often pull a baby’s exposed arm, trying to provide that little extra force needed to deliver the baby.

This pressure often strains or destroys nerves in the brachial plexus bundle that is under the arm. The resulting nerve injuries, which are usually permanent, often affect the child’s hands, arms, shoulders, and neck. Effects vary from muscle weakness to complete paralysis.

Spine Injuries

Excessive force also causes spine injuries in many cases. The spine is not a single bone. Instead, it is a long “chain” of vertebrae (small bones that house discs) linked by nerves and blood vessels. Several surgical options are available for adults and children with spine injuries. But few options are available for babies with spine injuries.

The lifetime medical bills in a spine injury case often exceed $5 million. The medical bills are just the beginning. These children also have limited career opportunities. Furthermore, participation in youth sports or even backyard games is out of the question. A birth injury lawyer obtains the compensation these families need and deserve.

Cerebral Palsy

Hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) usually causes this brain injury. If a baby is lodged in the mother’s birth canal, the umbilical cord limits oxygen to the brain. The brain responds by shutting down parts of the body.

This shutdown process usually begins with extremities, like fingers and toes. In mild cerebral palsy cases, children often need help with tasks that require fine motor skills (e.g., buttoning a shirt). While that may seem negligible, imagine needing assistance every time you wanted to button a shirt or tie your own shoes, just two name a couple of examples.

Extreme cerebral palsy is much worse. If the brain shuts down multiple extremities and limbs, these children essentially become prisoners in their own bodies.

Facial Paralysis

Erb’s Palsy (facial paralysis) is related to the brachial plexus injuries discussed above. Those aforementioned nerve bundles also control facial muscles. The loss of use or paralysis could also affect these facial muscles.

Improper use of a mechanical birth assistance device, like a vacuum pump or forceps, significantly increases the risk of facial paralysis. A vacuum pump is a device that literally sucks a baby out of a mother’s womb. Forceps are surgical tongs that a doctor uses to pry a baby out of the birth canal.

Perinatal Asphyxia

Hypoxia could also cause PA. This hypoxia-related condition affects the entire body and not just the brain. Symptoms include trouble breathing, seizures, coma, and paralysis. 

Compassionate Maryland Birth Injury Lawyers Ready to Help

Birth injury victims and their birth parents are entitled to significant compensation in Maryland. If you or a loved one has a child who is the victim of a birth injury, there is no time to delay. Call us today. The Yost Legal Group’s experienced birth injury lawyers are here to help. All consultations are free: 1-800-967-8529.