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What You Need to Know About Birth Injuries Birth Injuries Related to Medical Intervention In some cases, birth injuries are unavoidable, but in many cases, the tools obstetricians

Sep 18, 2020

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  • What You Need to Know About Birth Injuries

    From the Desk of Christopher Mellino:

    Having a new baby is a happy time for most families, but this joyous occasion can quickly turn to tragedy when a birth injury occurs. Birth injuries can range from bruising and broken bones to death. They are also linked to serious life-long issues, such as cerebral palsy, that can cost families millions of dollars in treatment costs, daycare expenses, and lost wages. The March of Dimes has noted that “there are thousands of different birth defects” and about

    120,000 babies are born with one each year in this country.

    There are also approximately 5.82 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births in the United States.

    The Mellino Law Firm is committed to providing legal support to families and children suffering the effects of a birth injury. The information in this eBook is intended to provide information about birth injuries and trauma, as well as next steps if legal action is sought. Read more to discover the different types of birth injuries and how to cope.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 855-301-3800 to learn more about potential legal action for birth-related injuries or trauma. We can help you get the justice you deserve.

    Sincerely,

    Christopher Mellino

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  • Table of Contents

    Introduction.................................................................................................................................3

    Birth Trauma Facts......................................................................................................................4 - 5

    Signs of Birth Trauma..................................................................................................................6 - 8

    Causes of Birth Injuries...............................................................................................................9 - 11

    Types of Birth Injuries.................................................................................................................12 - 14

    Birth Injuries and Their Effects on Mothers.................................................................................15 - 16

    Birth Injury Care Plan..................................................................................................................17 - 18

    What to Expect with a Birth Injury Lawsuit..................................................................................19 - 21

    Conclusion...................................................................................................................................22

    About...........................................................................................................................................23

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  • Introduction

    Birth injuries can have a lot of different causes, and certain newborns are more likely to become victims of birth trauma than others. For example, prolonged birth, C-section deliveries, and medical tools, such as forceps or vacuums, have the potential to lead to birth trauma that may develop into long-lasting birth injuries.

    Most parents enter the delivery room filled with hope and happiness; they do not expect to leave the delivery room with an injured infant. In fact, many birth injuries could be prevented and could be due to medical error or malpractice.

    Continue reading to find out the facts about birth injuries, including signs that could appear years down the road in your child’s life. Learn more about the types of birth injuries, the causes of birth injuries, and even the cost of dealing with the aftermath of birth trauma. Additionally, find out how to develop a birth injury care plan.

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  • Birth Trauma Facts

    As of 2018, there are approximately 6 to 8 birth injuries for every 1,000 live births. With approximately 4 million births per year, that translates to 24,000 to 32,000 birth traumas annually or 65 to 88 cases per day. In other words, every hour, three to four babies in the United States suffer from birth trauma. Here’s the facts.

    Birth Trauma Leads to Death

    Two percent of newborn deaths are related to birth trauma. Overall, there are 587 deaths for every 100,000 live births, and roughly 12 of these deaths are caused by birth trauma. However, many birth injuries don’t lead to death. Instead, they lead to serious injuries or debilitating life-long issues.

    Shoulder Dystocia Links to a Range of Birth Traumas

    Since the 1950s, shoulder dystocia (when the baby’s shoulders get stuck during delivery) has increased by 400% in the United States, and this often leads to issues such as brachial plexus injury. Marked by damage to the nerves in the shoulder, brachial plexus occurs in 0.5 to 2 of every 1,000 live births, and those infants face the following issues:

    • 10% broken collarbones

    • 10% broken humerus bone

    • 5% spinal subluxation

    • 5 to 10% spinal cord injuries in the neck region

    Long-term side effects can include deformities, impaired growth, and loss of muscle tissue.

    Birth Injuries Can Cause Cerebral Palsy

    Cerebral palsy occurs in 1.5 to 4 of every 1,000 live births, and it affects 1 in 323 children. In newborns weighing between 3.5 and 5.5 pounds, the incidence of cerebral palsy increases to 6.2 per 1,000 live birth, and in newborns weighing less than 3.5 pounds, the rate skyrockets to 59.5 per 1,000 live births. Nearly 10% of these cases are linked to the disruption of oxygen during delivery.

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    3-4 babies are victims of birth trauma every hour in the U.S.

  • Birth Traumas Are Usually Avoidable

    Unfortunately, some birth traumas, such as those related to genetic issues, are not avoidable, but approximately half of all birth trauma is. To avoid trauma and injury, medical professionals need to identify when patients have a heightened risk of birth trauma and take steps to prevent it in the delivery room.

    Additionally, many birth injuries are caused by the mishandling of forceps, vacuums, and other unnecessary medical interventions, and medical care providers can reduce birth injuries by using these tools correctly and only when absolutely necessary.

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    10% of cerebral palsy cases are due to oxygen deprivation during birth.

  • Signs of Birth Trauma

    Birth trauma refers to physical injuries sustained during birth, leading to a number of different health issues. There are many different signs of birth trauma, and while some symptoms are evident immediately, others take days, weeks, or even years to surface. Here are some signs your child may have been exposed to a birth injury.

    Immediate Signs of Birth Trauma

    If your child is the victim of a birth trauma, you may notice some symptoms in the hours or days immediately after you child’s birth. Your infant may show the following physical signs:

    • Low Apgar scores

    • Inconsolable crying, as if in pain

    • Arched back while crying

    • Labored breathing

    • Difficulty with latch reflex (baby can’t nurse or take a bottle)

    • Unable to swallow

    • Sensitive to light

    • Vomiting

    • Inability to move arm(s)

    • Visible bruises or lacerations

    • Spasms

    • Seizures

    Typically, newborns are examined in the hospital after birth, and they have another exam around two weeks of age. When the pediatrician or other healthcare provider examines your child, you should keep an eye out for the following issues:

    • Fever

    • High blood pressure

    • Low heart rate

    • Coughing

    • Constipation

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  • • Low iron (anemia)

    • Jaundice

    • Inability to gain weight

    Birth Trauma Symptoms After Birth and Up to Two Years

    In some cases, birth trauma symptoms take longer to present. Between the ages of two weeks and two years, babies and young toddlers may show the following symptoms:

    • Inability to gain weight

    • Hearing loss

    • Gross motor skill delays (for instance, difficulty with rolling, crawling, walking, climbing, etc.)

    • Fine motor skill delays (for instance, inability to grasp a spoon)

    • Cognitive delays

    • Loss of bodily movements

    • Lack of coordination

    • Speech difficulties

    • Unable to hit development milestones

    Birth Trauma Symptoms in Toddlers to School Age Children

    In rare situations, birth trauma symptoms don’t show up until the child becomes a toddler or starts school. For kids in these age groups, you may see the following signs:

    • Emotional issues (inability to control temper, regulate moods, etc.)

    • Intellectual disabilities

    • Learning disorders

    • Attention Deficit Disorder

    • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    • Autism

    • Asperger’s

    ADD and ADHD have many symptoms which overlap with Autism spectrum disorders, and although there are conflicting reports on the underlying causes between these disorders, some research indicates that a number of people with ADD, ADHD, Autism, and Asperger’s have also suffered a birth trauma.

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  • In particular, premature birth, lack of oxygen, birth trauma, and infections contracted during delivery are all linked to a heightened risk of ADD and ADHD. Additionally, exposure to toxins and damage to the frontal lobe can also contribute to all of thes