What You Should Know About Birth Injuries and Brain Damage
Giving birth may be as old as time, but it is nonetheless still a very physically traumatic experience on a mother and her baby. While advances in medicine have made giving birth significantly safer, there are still many risks associated with labor. Brain damage can occur as a result of medical negligence during childbirth, and a birth injury lawyer can help get your child the financial compensation they need for their care.
Infants who are at risk
Babies whose mothers are at an increased risk for a difficult labor, due to age, or the baby’s size, or if the baby is in a breech position are also at a higher risk for running into complications that can cause brain damage.
Periods of labor that go on for longer than they should, especially when a doctor begins to detect signs of fetal distress, can cause a deprivation of oxygen to the baby’s brain. If a doctor delays his or her decision to perform a C-section, or if a midwife delays calling an ambulance, these are negligent actions that put the baby at risk. Lawyers specializing in medical malpractice at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help determine if these important steps were not taken for your baby.
Infants are also at risk if they are in the breech position during birth. The breech position is when the infant’s buttocks and/or feet are facing the birth canal. Babies are more likely to be in a breech position if:
- they are part of a multi-baby birth
- they are pre-term
- the mother has had prior pregnancies
- the mother has placenta previa, or the placenta is covering the cervix
- there is too little or too much amniotic fluid in the uterus
- the uterus is oddly shaped
- fibroids are present in the uterus
Attempts can be made in the weeks leading up to the birth to try to turn the baby around in the birth canal, so they are in the proper position. If this doesn’t work, a C-section should be scheduled. If a healthcare provider fails to monitor a baby in the breech position in the weeks leading up to birth, they are negligent.
Other potential issues during birth are when the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the baby’s neck, or if the placenta separates from the uterine wall too early. Large babies also run the risk of getting stuck in the birth canal, which can increase the risk of losing oxygen for too long.
Mothers with certain kinds of infections, such as herpes, syphilis, or rubella can cause brain damage to an infant.
If a baby is stuck in the birth canal, they may have to be manually extracted using forceps or a vacuum. Forceps are like a large pair of tongs or clamps. Doctors place them on either side of the infant’s head to help assist the baby through the birth canal. A vacuum works by using suction on the baby’s head to pull the baby through the birth canal.
Both forceps and vacuums can cause injuries to the baby, resulting in brain damage. If too much force is used, the vacuum is applied to the wrong area of the head, or if the instruments are used at the wrong time, the consequences can be severe. If the baby’s head hits the mother’s pelvic bone too hard or too often during delivery, or if there is a lot of twisting and turning of the baby, this can also result in brain damage.
Complications from brain damage
Brain damage can result in a host of issues in infants, and some of them might not be fully diagnosed or recognized until they are older. While you have two years from the injury in the state of Michigan to file a malpractice claim, the law of discovery may be considered if the symptoms did not appear until later. Complications can include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- developmental delays
- inability to regulate emotions
- facial or skull distortions
- learning disabilities
- behavioral issues
If your child was diagnosed with brain damage due to a birth injury, contact a medical attorney as soon as he or she is diagnosed.
If you suspect your baby is the victim of brain damage from a birth injury, Eileen Kroll is an experienced birth injury lawyer and registered nurse. Her medical training will help her present a strong case in court and get your child the compensation he or she deserves. Call us today at 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529) for a no obligation consultation. We never charge a fee unless a recovery is made.