Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mishandled Labor Causing Birth Trauma and Injuries

Birth Trauma and Injuries and Causes

Complications in the labor and delivery process - - called “birth trauma and injuries” - - create multiple problems for a newborn baby.

For example, oxygen deprivation, occurring when the umbilical cord is compressed and/or twisted in the birth process, is a huge cause of birth injuries.

“Mechanical trauma” is also a major cause and occurs when the baby assumes an unusual position at the time of birth.

Red flags as to trauma and injury during pregnancy or birth include excessive bleeding, long labor, breech births, fetal distress and excessive water retention and weight gain.

Birth injuries occurring during labor or delivery include seizures, meconium aspiration, fetal distress, excessive bleeding, fever, brachial plexus, cerebral palsy, and shoulder dystocia.

Cerebral Palsy

“Cerebral palsy” describes a group of disorders affecting movement control including jaundice, kidney or urinary tract infection, viral infection or measles, oxygen deprivation during delivery, bleeding, head injury, bacterial meningitis, and viral encephalitis.

Cerebral palsy has no one cause and may result from an injury to the brain before, during, or after birth.

Factors suggesting that cerebral palsy results from improper medical care or insult to the brain during the birthing process include seizures developing within 24-48 hours of birth, blue skin, infant needing resuscitation shortly after delivery because he is not breathing, poor sucking or problems maintaining temperature after birth, and meconium (fecal) staining on the body at the time of delivery.

Erb's Palsy, Brachial Plexus Palsy

Erb's Palsy, Brachial Plexus Palsy occurs when excessive lateral traction is applied to the fetal neck region during delivery tearing nerves resulting in a limp arm.

Tearing of these nerves can cause permanent arm paralysis, the most common forms are
“Neuropraxia” (stretching - - but not a tear - - of tnerve from which child usually recovers without treatment) and “Neuroma” (where nerves are torn and heal leaving scar tissue exerting pressure, and disabling, nerve).

Surgery can improve nerve rupture (i.e., when stretching causes nerve tear at any point except at spinal attachment) or avulsion (i.e., when nerve tears at spinal attachment).

Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia refers to a complication in which the baby’s shoulder gets caught behind the mother’s pelvic bone preventing the baby from breathing.

Methods of changing mother’s position allowing her pelvis to open - - and the baby's shoulder to pass through - - include reaching into birth canal and turning child, “McRoberts Maneuver” (flexing legs toward shoulder and placing pressure above pubic bone to allow room for baby to shift), “Woods Maneuver” (applying pressure to free shoulder to turn baby's body and release trapped shoulder) and pushing baby back in and performing a Caesarian Section.

If you or a have been harmed by doctor error, medical malpractice, mishandled labor, or other forms of medical negligence, contact us at today.