Birth injuries range from mild to devastating

When people heard the words "birth injury," they often think of the more well-known afflictions such as cerebral palsy or brain injury. However, there is actually a wide range of birth injuries that can complicate a delivery process for a Houston family. While all birth injuries have the potential to cause damage, some may heal on their own while others can culminate in permanent disability.

Thanks to improved prenatal assessments and proper use of Cesarean sections, the rates of birth injury today are lower than in the past. Still, many newborns emerge with birth injuries, albeit relatively minor ones such as birthmarks or bruising and swelling of the scalp. Typically, scalp swelling or bruising doesn't pose a serious threat and resolves within a couple of days.

Another birth injury which usually goes away after a few weeks to a few months is a cephalohematoma, or an accumulation of blood below the periosteum of the baby's skull bones. Broken bones, or fractures, can also occur during birth. These birth injuries have the potential to be among the less-damaging injuries, as many fractures in newborns can heal quickly.

At the other end of the spectrum are more severe injuries such as brain bleeding, nerve damage and perinatal asphyxia. There are many potential causes of perinatal asphyxia, which can later lead to learning disorders or cerebral palsy. If a baby is exposed to certain drugs while in the womb, or if an infection occurs in the fetus, the resulting birth injury can have effects ranging from mild to severe. An intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding within a baby's brain, can be serious or mild and may require treatment from a surgeon. Nerve damage may also be either mild or severe; some types of nerve damage occurring during birth require no treatment to heal, while others may cause paralysis.

While there exists a diverse array of birth injuries, when a family suffers they will want to know all about the particular injury affecting their child. A Houston birth injury law firm can help parents understand how compensation for injuries can be obtained if a complication was caused by a negligent doctor.

Source: Merck Manual, "injury">Birth Injury," accessed May 3, 2015

Categories: Birth Injuries