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Examining the Most Common Birth-Related Injuries

Birth InjuryParents who go in for a delivery expect to leave the hospital with a happy, healthy infant. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, about six to eight of all 1,000 live births, and about two percent of all infant fatalities and stillbirths can be attributed to birth-related injuries. Though disturbing, in and of itself, this statistic pales in comparison to the number of birth injuries that might have been avoided through proper identification of at-risk infants, mothers, and/or pregnancies.

Identifying At-Risk Infants

While birth injury can happen to almost any infant, those that are large for their gestation date, are delivered with the aid of medical devices or instruments (i.e. forceps, vacuum, etc.), have a breech presentation, or experience excessive or abnormal traction during delivery are at the greatest risk. Injury may also occur if the infant needs to be resuscitated shortly after being delivered. Other risk factors that may result in a birth injury include:

  • Prima gravida (first pregnancy);
  • Maternal abnormalities (small pelvis, small stature, obesity, etc.);
  • Prolonged or rapid birth;
  • Low infant birth weight;
  • Large fetal head;
  • Fetal abnormalities;
  • Oligohydramnios (insufficient amniotic fluid); and
  • Premature birth.
Most Common Birth-Related Injuries

While there are numerous types of birth injuries that may occur, some are more common than others. Further, there are certain situations that may increase the risk of some injuries, but not others. For example, a soft tissue injury is most common when the infant undergoes in utero fetal monitoring. Brachial plexus (peripheral nerve damage to the brachial plexus) is more common in large infants while cranial nerve injuries are more likely to occur when the infant experiences hyperextension, over-stretching, or excessive traction while in the birth canal. Other common birth-related injuries include:

  • Intra-abdominal injuries;
  • Spinal cord injuries;
  • Fractures; and
  • Laryngeal nerve injuries.
Prognosis of Birth-Related Injuries

The long-term outcome of a birth-related injury often depends on the type of injury experienced. For example, an abrasion caused during delivery is likely to have a positive long-term prognosis, but infants who experience soft tissue injuries to the scalp may experience serious complications. In some cases, birth injuries may even result in fatality or life-long disability. If your child experiences a birth injury, it is important that you speak with the doctors to determine what the outcome for your child might be.

Obtaining Compensation for Your Child’s Injury

To determine the extent that medical malpractice may have played in your child’s injury, it is critical to have your case examined by a qualified attorney. At Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP, we understand the devastation you have experienced, and we will fight to ensure you and your family receive the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with our San Jose birth injury lawyers to learn how we can assist with your case. Call (408) 289-1417 today.

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Client Reviews
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My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.