When a baby comes into this world with 10 fingers and 10 toes, parents are jubilant.
"Our baby is perfect," they might say.
But that isn't always the case. Injuries can occur during childbirth that will have long-lasting effects on babies as they grow to adults. Sometimes, those injuries are caused by medical intervention at birth.
What are some of the birth injuries a baby can suffer?
Cerebral palsy results from injury to the brain's movement control centers. Indicators are poor reflexes, abnormal muscle tone, poor coordination and a physical disability. It is believed that cerebral palsy could be attributed to a lack of oxygen or blood to the brain. That is a condition called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which also can lead to other brain injuries.
HIE is caused by events such as a knot in the umbilical cord, breech birth, a hole in the womb wall or an umbilical cord that becomes wrapped around the neck of the baby.
A brachial plexus injury – Erb's Palsy is one of them – results from damage to nerves during childbirth. Weakness of the arm or the hand, or paralysis, can be the result. A brachial plexus injury typically happens when the pressure of a mother's labor causes damage to the baby's nerves. A doctor will often need to perform a manual delivery, meaning the baby must be maneuvered during childbirth, and this is when the injury could occur.
Newborns also can acquire Group B streptococcus (GBS), which cause an infection of the brain tissues, blood poisoning or pneumonia. The complications can lead to a long-term disability or even death. GBS can be prevented and the hospital staff should follow measures to make sure the baby isn't affected.
Some birth injuries will be apparent immediately. Others might take longer to appear. As soon as your baby receives a diagnosis of a birth injury that could have been prevented, it is crucial to consult a Kentucky attorney who works with such cases. Your child could have a lifetime of medical needs – and costs – ahead.