The birth of a child is often one of the most joyous occasions a New Jersey family experiences. But an injury to the newborn can quickly cause this experience to become a nightmare. Families that are aware of common birth injuries will be able to spot the signs of these injuries better and ensure that their newborns receive the help and compensation they deserve.
What constitutes a birth injury
Babies sometimes sustain injuries when being born. Several factors contribute to these injuries, which include premature births, large babies, prolonged labor and others. When birth injuries occur due to the mistakes of a doctor or another medical professional, liability and compensation can become applicable.
It is not uncommon for newborns to have marks or bruises on their face or head after birth. These marks may be the result of the forceps sometimes used to facilitate the delivery process.
Brachial palsy is a common birth injury. It happens when shoulder dystocia makes it difficult for the baby’s shoulder to exit the birth canal. The baby may experience stiffness and a temporary loss of flexibility in the affected arm. Therapeutic exercises may restore the full use of the limb. But in cases where permanent nerve damage happens, the effects can become permanent.
The most common location for a baby to sustain a fracture during birth is the collarbone. These injuries frequently occur when there are issues with delivering the baby’s shoulder and during breeched births. A baby that suffers a fractured clavicle may demonstrate a noticeable lack of use for the arm affected by the fracture.
Paralysis of the face is a birth injury caused by pressure on a baby’s face during birth or labor. This injury can also happen when forceps become part of the delivery process. Parents should speak to a doctor if they notice that one side of their baby’s face is not moving or if one eye seems to never close. The effects of this injury can be temporary if the damage to the nerve is only a bruise.
No parent wants to think of the possibility that a birth injury can alter his or her child’s life when entering the world. But parents who experience this unfortunate event may benefit from speaking to a lawyer.