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Did Your Baby Suffer One of These Common Hospital-Caused Injuries?

Steve Wagner

Birth injuries – if you’ve experienced the injury of your own child, you understand the heartbreak that comes with learning they have been hurt. What many parents aren’t aware of, is that the vast majority of birth injuries are completely avoidable, if only the doctors and nurses would act in the best interest of mother and child.

Did you know? – The United States is the only developed country in the world with a rising maternal and infant mortality rate? Other developed nations are working to reduce medical intervention in births and avoid complications that are largely caused by the hospitals. The U.S. is still relying on “modern technology” to deliver babies, and it’s causing us far more harm than good.

To show that the majority of injuries to infants are caused by medical personnel and doctors, take a look at the top ten most common infant injuries in the U.S:

  • Brachial Plexus: This is when the nerve group at the top of the spine detaches from the nerves in the neck, shoulder, and arm. Damage can range from mild to severe, with about 10% of cases resulting in full paralysis. This injury most commonly occurs when an infant’s head and shoulders are pulled on during the birth (whether by hands or vacuum or forceps delivery).
  • Bone Fractures: Typically the result of shoulder dystocia, (which is largely caused by the forced reclining position of the mother during birth), babies’ collarbones are often fractured. Some heal on their own, some require stabilizing treatments for the infant. Often times, doctors are even taught to break the baby’s collarbone intentionally to assist with the birth. The solution is often as simple as allowing the mother to move around instead of being confined to a bed, or using different maneuvers to help rotate the baby through the birth canal.
  • Cephalohematoma: Can be labeled simply as a bruise on the head – a pooling of blood under the covering of part of the skull. These are typically self-resolving issues, but are usually the result of forcible delivery.
  • Caput Succedaneum: A swelling of the scalp so that it appears bruised or discolored. Similar to the Cephalohematoma, they typically clear up on their own, but are most commonly the result of forceps or some other forcible delivery.
  • Perinatal Asphyxia: This occurs when the infant does not receive enough oxygen. The condition can cause labored breathing, pale complexion, seizures, coma, and shock. It often clears up on its own, but sometimes results in permanent neurological damage. The latest research shows that this is most often the result of early cord cutting where the infant is cut off from the mother’s oxygen supply before they are fully ready to breathe on their own. Some injuries do occur on the other end of this spectrum, and babies are sent into hypoxia and oxygen over-saturation as the result of medical intervention.
  • Intracranial Hemorrhage/Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: Exactly as they sound, these are injuries to the infant that cause bleeding in the skull, typically under the two innermost layers of the brain covering. Again, most commonly caused by increased pressure and forcible delivery.
  • Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: This is the bursting of a blood vessel in the eye. Most commonly caused by excessive pressure during birth. This injury typically clears up on its own with no required treatment.
  • Facial Paralysis: This injury causes nerve damage in the face that can be either temporary or permanent. This injury is typically caused by the use of analgesics during labor, whether epidural or other. It can also be caused by the use of artificial Pitocin, which is used to increase the strength of contractions.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries most often occur due to the use of forceps or meningeal tears in the infant. Spinal cord injuries are almost always serious, resulting in nerve damage, paralysis, and neurological problems.
  • Cerebral Palsy: 2-3 out of every 1000 children suffer from Cerebral Palsy. The causes are still relatively unknown, but research is beginning to point towards hospital-induced infections, birth injuries, and poor oxygen levels during birth. There is no known cure for Cerebral Palsy and it is a disease which causes lifelong disabilities for those who suffer with it.

It’s time for a change. It’s time for more evidence-based care in our hospitals. It’s time for less intervention, and more listening to patients and their needs. It’s time for doctors and nurses to stop imposing their standard system on mothers who each labor and give birth differently. And it is time to stop causing more harm than good in our labor and delivery units.

Did Your Baby Suffer An Injury At The Hospital?

If so, you are not alone. Thousands of other mothers and infants are injured every day in U.S. hospitals, and you deserve to be well cared for after these injuries. These common birth injuries may qualify you for a medical malpractice claim. Fight for your rights and the rights of your child. Call the birth injury attorneys at Wagner Reese today for a free consultation. Get back on the road to healing and get your child off to the right start in life – call us at (888) 204-8440 for more information.

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