Injuries to an infant during labor and delivery can happen for various reasons, including the health of the mother and medical error. Fortunately, many birth injuries are minor or babies recover from them quickly. However, there are infants in Idaho who will suffer birth injuries with serious consequences. In some cases, the extent of the injury is not apparent until the child is older.
If an infant’s neck or arm is stretched during the birth, they may be injured in the elbow, forearm, hand or shoulder, all parts of the body connected by the nerves known as the brachial plexus. Severe cases could require surgery and might result in paralysis.
Shoulder dystocia, when a child’s shoulder or shoulders prevent their progress through the birth canal, is fortunately rare, but its complications can be serious or fatal. The baby could end up with broken bones in the shoulder area. Oxygen cut also be cut off, leading to additional complications.
A lack of oxygen can lead to a number of different neurological birth injuries. There are several different causes besides SD, including too much medication and issues with the placenta or umbilical cord. In some cases, quickly doing a cesarean section can prevent this lack of oxygen. Cerebral palsy is a common brain birth injury, but it can occur before or after birth as well and for reasons besides a lack of oxygen.
A common measure of how the fetus is doing during labor and delivery is heart rate, and medical professionals can monitor this to help them determine when further intervention is necessary. Malpractice may have occurred if the child suffers an injury and did not receive a reasonable standard of care, which could include failing to monitor the labor process properly or to act quickly enough.