Ideally, the birth process is easy and uneventful. Every few seconds, somewhere on earth a baby is born, and most of those journeys from the mother’s womb into the world will be largely uneventful. In a small percentage of cases, birth injury occurs that creates trauma –physical and emotional, for both infant and mother. Traumatic birth syndrome is the catch-all name for the various forms of trauma that newborns can suffer in the process of coming into the world.
Traumatic birth syndrome is a broad description for the various types of injuries that can happen to an infant during the birthing process. At the moment, in the United States, about one in every five to seven births out of 1,000 result in injury to the infant. Brachial plexus palsy, cephalohematoma, spinal cord injury, caput succedaneum and bone fractures are some of the more common birth injuries.
What causes birth trauma?
Some of the risk factors for birth trauma may include the following:
- The use of mechanical forces, such as forceps and vacuum extractors
- Larger babies (weighing more than 4500g) have a higher incidence of birth trauma
- Breech presentation delivery
- Excessive traction during delivery.
The effects of traumatic birth syndrome on the mother
Some of the medical complications surrounding a traumatic birth can cause injury to the mother as well. Some of those injuries can include:
- Vaginal tearing
- Abrasions or lacerations to the vagina
- Excessive post-partum bleeding
- Post-partum urinary problems
Complications of traumatic birth injuries
Risks to the infant from a traumatic birth experience include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental delay
- Seizure disorders
- Mental retardation
Not every birth injury is the result of negligence. Serious problems can arise during the birth process, and all of the attending medical staff do everything in their power and follow accepted standards of practice for their specialty to the letter and a complication still occurs. This is why having a birth injury attorney with years of experience on your side can benefit you. A competent birth injury attorney will investigate the circumstances surrounding the birth and determine where the fault for the birth injury can be placed.
Traumatic birth injuries can also cause emotional injury, suffering and mental anguish for a new mother. When the injury has been caused by a breach of the accepted standard of care of the doctor or other medical professional, the parents may have grounds for taking legal action against those responsible.
If you are facing a lifetime of medical expenses to provide care for an infant who suffers from traumatic birth syndrome, you are welcome to contact Paulson & Nace, PLLC, or call 202-463-1999 for a free consultation with a compassionate, Washington, D.C. birth injury attorney to discuss your case.