According to a recent news article, out of every 1,000 babies born in the U.S., six suffer a birth injury. Some of these birth injuries are minor and heal soon after birth, but some are so severe that they affect the child and the child’s parents for the rest of their lives.
An example of a serious injury that may heal after continued physical therapy and surgery are shoulder injuries. Sometimes, these shoulder and arm injuries will cause permanent disabilities. A child can suffer Erb’s palsy if they experience shoulder dystocia during birth.
Shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone during birth. If the doctor pulls down on the baby’s neck and head to try to release the baby too quickly from the birth canal, it can cause an injury to the nerves in the baby’s shoulder and arms.
Another severe injury is cerebral palsy, which can occur if the baby’s oxygen supply is cut off during birth and the brain is deprived of oxygen for too long. The symptoms of cerebral palsy can vary, but in the most severe cases, a child may need round-the-clock care for the rest of their life.
Sometimes birth injuries cannot be prevented, but other times they are caused by doctor’s mistakes and negligence, or medical malpractice.
Source: news4jax.com, “How medical malpractice leads to birth injuries,” Jan. 11, 2012