Birth Injury: A General Overview
In many of the weeks prior to this post, we have discussed cerebral palsy at length. Cerebral palsy, an injury that occurs to a child when his or her brain is damaged while in the womb or during birth, is a form of birth injury, defined by the Merck Manuals as "damage sustained during the birthing process, usually occurring during transit through the birth canal." Birthinjuryguide.org notes that many cases of birth injuries are "completely preventable."
While many newborns are susceptible to minor injuries during birth due to "a difficult delivery . . . when the birth canal is too small or the fetus is too large," or "the fetus is lying in an abnormal position in the uterus before birth," most "resolve without treatment," according to Merck Manuals. However, while serious birth injuries are now described as "rare," they do occur.
According to Medscape.com, some risk factors consistent with birth injury include:
- "Large-for-date infants," defined as those who weigh over 4500 grams, or approximately 9.9 pounds;
- Instrumental deliveries that use forceps midcavity or a vacuum;
- Vaginal breech delivery; and
- Abnormal or excessive traction during delivery.
Once trauma has been recognized at birth, the physician must conduct a "careful physical and neurologic evaluation of the infant to establish whether additional injuries are present." Such an examination includes noting the symmetry of the child's structure and function, his or her cranial nerves, joint range of motion, and scalp and skull integrity.
Two major examples of birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy - This type of injury, which we have explained and explored in a series of posts on this blog, occurs when the infant sustains damage to his or her brain during birth or while in the womb.
- Brachial plexus injury - Brachial plexus injuries occur when there is damage to the nerves controlling the shoulder and arm, according to rightdiagnosis.com. This condition is also known as Dejerine-Klumpke palsy, Klumpke's palsy, or Klumpke paralysis.
In the next post, we will go in-depth into some of the various forms of birth injury, and as these posts progress, we will reference methods of coping and treatment.
If your loved one suffers from a birth injury, call us for help. We will talk to you and review your case for free. The Tyrone Law Firm specializes in representing those who have suffered a devastating injury, such as birth injuries or traumatic brain injury resulting from the negligence of another. Our personal injury firm here in Atlanta has a very successful record of trying such cases.
Nelson Tyrone handles Brain Injury, Spine Injury and RSD/CRPS cases throughout the United States. He involves only the top medical, rehabilitation and life-care plan experts in the field. His results on behalf of clients include several of the largest settlements and verdicts on record, and he was recently able to obtain a $13.9 million verdict, one of the largest in the state of Georgia, for a birth injury client in 2014.
You can reach us at 404-377-0017 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we can't help you, we will do our best to put you into the hands of lawyers who can.