A child sustaining a birth injury is a worry that parents will often have, and it is not a worry that will necessarily have to face. Yet, there is nevertheless always going to be a risk, and this risk becomes more likely depending on the quality and effort of the physicians handling the birth process. For those whose child has suffered from a birth injury, either minor or severe, a common question is whether birth injuries are common or not.
How common are birth injuries?
Out of every 100 births, seven of them experience a birth injury (so seven percent). This may seem high, just by virtue of the fact that a birth injury sounds like such a serious issue. And for sure, a birth injury can be quite severe, especially given how vulnerable children are to injury at the best of times. When it's a child coming out of the womb, they are extremely sensitive, and must be handled accordingly. However, that does not necessarily mean that all birth injuries are serious. Some birth injuries can even manifest as something as simple as bruising that will heal in short order. Other types of bruising may occur if forceps or a vacuum tool are used to assist in the birthing process. However, birth injuries can be quite serious as well, and some can even result in the infant losing their life as a result.
How common certain birth injuries may be is going to depend a lot on the different circumstances that lead to the birth injury. For instance, a common cause of birth injuries is a delayed birth, and unfortunately, this birth injury often causes some of the more severe types of birth injuries. For example, if the child is not able to get out of the mother in an adequate amount of time, this may result in the child experiencing a birth injury. This kind of injury can have a number of different negative effects and may make it more difficult for the child's brain to develop properly, affecting them later in life. This can be exacerbated by the physician doing an inadequate job monitoring the progress of the birth, and in general doing a poor job keeping an eye out for any complications. For example, if it is noticed that the child is taking too long to be delivered, the physicians have an obligation to act, which may involve using various tools to help the child get out of the birth canal faster. If these tools fail, then they may resort to a cesarean section in order to have greater access to the child. Poor monitoring of the child at all points, before and during the birthing process, makes birth injuries that much more likely as a result.
Another common type of injury has to do with the brachial plexus, the group of nerves that are responsible for the hands and arms, leading to brachial palsy. This is not too serious an injury, as it can be recovered from, particularly through exercises done to help get movement back to normal, usually after a few months. However, more severe nerve damage can result in more severe symptoms, particularly if the nerve is torn. A brachial plexus injury is not the most common that may occur, but it does occur in one or two births out of 1000, which is nothing to shake a stick at. Your child may also experience some degree of facial paralysis, an issue that is caused when the child has too much pressure on their face during birth. Like brachial plexus injuries, this injury typically heals over time, unless one of the nerves was torn.
Of course, the inciting issue for a birth injury is not necessarily going to be as a result of a physician dropping the ball, so to speak. For example, the mother may have a pelvis that is inadequate for the child to be birthed through, either due to its size or its shape. Or the baby may even be too big to be birthed normally. In both of these situations, the doctors should have an idea well in advance of what needs to be done to ensure that the birthing process is the safest it can possibly be, given the circumstances. In both cases, they should plan ahead for the mother to undergo a cesarean section, and if they do not, it may be indicative of negligence on the part of the physicians involved. If you do believe that there was negligence at play in one or more birth injuries suffered by your child, your best bet is to procure the services of birth injury attorneys at Wapner Newman, who will represent you diligently and help you get a settlement to compensate you for the harm that you and your child went through. There are things that your doctor should work with you, such as weight. While someone on the heavier side is not likely to have a child with a birth injury, maternal obesity can be an issue that you doctor can work with you on in order to help you manage your weight.