From the moment you discover that you are expecting a child, you want nothing more than protect your baby from any kind of harm. Therefore, it can be difficult to know how to respond in a level-headed manner when your child develops an infection or sustains an injury during pregnancy, labor or delivery.
Birth injuries can be caused by a variety of factors. If a healthcare provider’s negligent actions lead to injuries to your child, you may be in a strong position to initiate a birth injury lawsuit against the professional or facility.
Understanding birth injuries
As the name suggests, a birth injury is any injury that happens to an infant before, during and immediately after birth. While some birth injuries might not result in long-term consequences, others can be life-altering. Specifically, injuries that affect the child’s brain or central nervous system can impact the child for the rest of their life.
What are the risk factors for birth injuries?
While a baby can suffer injuries before, during and after birth, certain factors can increase the risk of some kinds of harm. Here are some of these factors:
Prolonged labor – Prolonged labor can put stress on the baby and result in a myriad of injuries. Prolonged labor is often caused by one or a combination of these factors:
- When the baby is too large to be delivered through the birth canal
- Fetal malposition (when the baby is abnormally positioned in the womb)
- Epidural anesthesia
Some of the risks associated with prolonged labor include low oxygen that results in asphyxia, hypoxia, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and acidosis. It can also result in fetal distress and intracranial hemorrhage.
Infections – some maternal infections can pass on to the baby if left undiagnosed and untreated in time. Some of these include listeriosis, Syphilis and UTIs.
When your baby sustains injuries before or during birth, you may be able to hold a healthcare provider accountable. Knowing your legal options by seeking legal guidance will be key to protecting your rights while filing a birth injury claim.