According to Birth Injury Guide, about 7 out of every 1,000 births in the United States each year result in birth injury. That equates to about 28,000 birth injuries each year, or about 1 out of 9,714 each year. Birth injuries are those that occur during the labor-and-delivery process. Some birth injuries can be prevented while others cannot. Exploring different types of birth injuries is important for any parent or parent-to-be.
The most common cause of brain-related birth injuries is oxygen deprivation. Conditions such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy are the cause of the infant not getting enough oxygen supplied during delivery. Other birth injuries that may result in brain injuries include infant jaundice, an excessive amount of a yellow pigment that is found in red blood cells called bilirubin, and meningitis, a virus that causes the meninges to become inflamed. The brain and spinal cord are covered by membranes, known as meninges.
Muscle-related birth injuries are the result of an infant's muscles being limp or rigid. Most commonly, breech deliveries can result in muscle-related injuries. Some of the most common muscle-related birth injuries include brachial plexus caused during delivery, which results in the injury of the upper arm, and shoulder dystocia, which is caused during delivery as a result of the baby's head and shoulders getting stuck in the back of the mother's pelvic bone.
While a rare occurrence, bone-related birth injuries do happen, most often during difficult deliveries. The most common bone-related injury is a fractured collarbone. Other causes of bone-related injuries result in the upper arm or upper leg bone being fractured.
Premature Birth–Related Injuries
Most of the time, medical professionals are trained to know when a mother is going into premature labor. When this occurs, they have standards in place to prevent a premature birth from happening, including giving the mother medications to stop the contractions. However, there are times when a premature birth cannot be prevented. The most common premature birth–related injuries include the mother having a weakened cervix due to the weight of the baby and untreated infections in the mother which can be passed to the infant, resulting in sepsis, a complication resulting from an infection, and encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain.
Some birth injuries are temporary, while others have a permanent effect. Birth-injury symptoms will vary from infant to infant, with some experiencing mild symptoms, while others may experience severe symptoms. If you have a child born with birth injuries that you believe could have been prevented, it is important to consult with a birth-injury lawyer, such as one from Kidwell & Gallagher LTD.