Birth Injury Resulting to Cerebral Palsy
Birth injury, or birth trauma, refers to any type of injury or harm sustained by an infant during the birthing process. These injuries are usually sustained during a difficult delivery, which may be due to:
• The birth canal being too small;
• The fetus being in an abnormal position (like a breech position, wherein the baby would exit the pelvis with his/her buttocks or feet first instead of the head); or,
• The fetus being too large (doctors use a vacuum or forceps when delivering larger babies to make babies’ passage through the birth canal easier).
Difficult delivery or not, many legal and medical professionals will confirm that the most common cause of birth injury is medical negligence and that these acts of negligence cause thousands of infants to suffer injuries during birth and that these acts occur far more frequently than any one may realize.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services says that as many as 28,000 babies are born with a birth injury every year. While it may be a relief to know that most of these injuries are only minor and will easily heal without any need for treatment, it is sad to say that many are also serious and will affect the quality of lives of thousands of children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the most severe types of birth injuries is Cerebral Palsy (CP), a neurodevelopmental motor impairment that affects a child’s posture and balance, mental capabilities and speech. CP is a chronic and incurable brain disorder which also impairs sensation, muscle coordination, muscle control, body movement, reflex, and various brain functions, such as speech, perception and cognition.
As mentioned by Toronto injury lawyers in their website, it is a very sad fact that thousands of infants and children suffer serious birth injuries and death as a result of negligence by obstetricians, hospitals and nurses. These errors can include a baby being without oxygen for a considerable period of time, delay in delivery, delay in seeing problems with the fetal heart rate, failure to properly recognize or respond to fetal distress and fetal monitoring strips, failure to properly recognize or respond to umbilical cord compression or prolapsed cord, failure to properly deal with bleeding including abruptio placenta, failure to perform a caesarean section, as well as not properly providing forceps and vacuum extractions.
The law firm Evans Moore, LLC, on th e other hand, emphasizes that the delivery process is an event that demands the full attention of all medical staff involved for the safe birth of an infant. Due to this, the firm believes that negligent medical practitioners should be held financially accountable for any mistakes or inattention that results in the injury of a child.