Birth injuries: Not always natural complications

When a baby is born, there are dozens of things that could go wrong. They could be injured in any number of ways, and many of those injuries could be considered normal complications.

There are some other forms of injuries, though, like hypoxia or brachial plexus injuries, that could be a result of negligence or errors during the birthing process. When they happen, it's fair to ask if they were part of the natural process of birth or if they could have been prevented.

What is a brachial plexus injury?

A brachial plexus injury is an injury of the peripheral nerve. This can lead to the child having a lack of shoulder motion. They may not be able to grasp well, though the reflex is usually present. This nerve damage also often coincides with other injuries, such as:

  • The subluxation of the cervical spine
  • A cervical spine injury
  • Facial palsy
  • A fractured humerus

What is hypoxia?

Hypoxia happens when a baby doesn't get enough oxygen to its brain. This can happen before, during or after birth. In severe cases, this can lead to brain injuries or a permanent disorder. It's important to note that hypoxia doesn't always lead to a permanent disability, especially when the risk is recognized and the infant receives treatment.

What are some common causes of hypoxia?

Some of the common causes of hypoxia include:

  • Infections
  • Brain blood vessel abnormalities
  • Cardiovascular collapse
  • Umbilical cord prolapse
  • Placental abruption
  • Placental insufficiency
  • Umbilical cord infections
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Oxygen deprivation

What should you do if your child has a birth injury?

The first thing to do is to learn more about your child's injury. Is it often caused by natural complications during childbirth? Is it something that could have been prevented, or did your medical provider do all they could to prevent the injury within the recognized standard of care in the medical field?

You may want to talk to your own doctor and the medical staff who worked with you as well as to a second medical provider. Seeking a second opinion is your right, and it's a good idea. Another doctor can talk to you about how commonly accidents like yours take place and what should have happened, if they believe that the injuries were the other provider's fault.

In the case that you believe that you are dealing with medical malpractice, negligence or other concerns, you may want to start looking into your options for a medical malpractice case.

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