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Birth injuries: A brief discussion on common types and causes

Advances in medicine have helped to reduce the risks associated with giving birth, but labor and delivery remains a potentially dangerous event. Although babies are often delivered without issue, it is not uncommon for the infant to suffer from an injury during the birth.

What causes birth injuries?

The medical professionals with Stanford Children's Health, a medical facility ranked as one of the nation's best children's hospitals by U.S. News, notes that there are many common causes of birth injuries.

Some of the more common causes include:

  • Big baby. Babies that weigh more than 8 pounds and 13 ounces are more likely to suffer from birth injuries than smaller babies.
  • Premature. A baby that is born before hitting the 37 week gestation mark is also more likely to suffer from birth injuries.
  • Mother's body type. The risk can also increase if the mother has a small pelvis. This is referred to as cephalopelvic disproportion.
  • Dystocia or long labor. Dystocia is a medical term that refers to difficult labor. This, or a longer than average time spent in labor, can also increase the risk of injury to the infant.
  • Baby's presentation. It is also dangerous for the baby to enter the birthing canal in an abnormal position. One common example is when a baby presents in the breech, or buttocks first, position.

The risks associated with these issues can be mitigated through proper prenatal care.

What if my baby is injured during birth?

Physicians are trained to monitor for these risks and may adjust care if any of the above noted factors that can increase the risk of injury is present. A failure to do so could result in poor medical care, potentially leading to injury to the mother and child.

If you or a loved one was injured during the birthing process and believe this injury as the result of poor care, you may be eligible to receive compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. This compensation can help cover the costs associated with the accident as well as any future costs like physical therapy or medical devices. Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss your options.

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