A birth injury can happen to an infant before, during, or immediately after birth. There are many different ways in which an infant could sustain a birth injury. While some birth injuries are not life-threatening and can be resolved quickly, others can have devastating physical and neurological effects that last a lifetime. Here’s what you should know about birth injuries and their associated causes.
Causes of Birth Injuries
There are a few factors that can cause a birth injury ranging from maternal conditions and infant conditions to other external factors that can lead to a birth injury. Here are some examples of causes of birth injuries based on the circumstances as mentioned earlier:
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The following maternal conditions can be a factor of birth injuries in infants:
- The mother’s pelvic shape – If the shape of a mother’s pelvis is not conducive to giving birth, it could cause the infant to struggle or twist in a way that could limit oxygen flow.
- Dystocia – Also referred to as “difficult labor or delivery,” dystocia may occur if the fetus is too large for the pelvic opening or in an abnormal position, such as breech.
- Prolonged labor – Also referred to as “failure to progress,” prolonged labor may be determined by the stage of labor and whether the cervix has appropriately thinned and opened during labor. Prolonged labor can not only cause a uterine infection for the mother, but it can also pose the following problems for the baby:
Low oxygen levels
Abnormal heart rhythm
Abnormal substances in the amniotic fluid
The following infant conditions can be a contributing factor of birth injuries in infants:
- Weight of the baby – Babies who are at a substantial weight can have more difficulty during the birthing process and are more at risk of developing a birth injury.
- Premature birth – Infants born before the 37th week of pregnancy are considered premature. Babies who are born prematurely have a higher birth injury risk because their muscles and nervous system may not be fully developed.
- Abnormal fetal position – Babies who are born in the head-up, buttock-first, or breech position may be at higher risk of a birth injury.
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Physical Injury during childbirth: Physical injuries during delivery can cause an infant to sustain a severe birth injury. For example, an external birth injury can occur during the birth process through the use of forceps or vacuum extraction.
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When You Need a Birth Injury Lawyer
If you and your loved ones are coping with a child who has sustained a birth injury during delivery, our experienced birth injury lawyers are here to help. The law team at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC has been helping victims of medical malpractice in the Memphis Tri-State area since 1970.