Several factors can harm a baby during delivery, resulting in a birth injury. In West Virginia, such injuries can occur due to the difficulty of the baby’s birth, illness, or medical errors. Although some injuries are treatable and not severe, others can cause long-term physical and neurological disabilities. If the brain or neck is affected, permanent brain damage or conditions such as cerebral palsy can result.
Maternal conditions that cause birth injuries
Some mothers may find it hard to give birth because of the shape of their pelvis. If this happens, the baby may twist or have difficulty getting out, affecting the oxygen flow.
The baby being incorrectly positioned or the cervix not expanding as it should cause difficult labor. This condition is called dystocia. If the labor takes a long time, it can also increase the chances of birth injuries.
Infant conditions that can cause birth injuries
When babies are big, weighing between eight and 13 pounds, it can make birth harder and increase the risk of injuries. In addition, babies born too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy, may not have fully developed neural and musculoskeletal systems. Also, babies who are in an abnormal position during birth, like those that are breech (bottom-first), head-up or buttocks first, have a greater chance of injury during birth.
Physical injuries to the child during birth can lead to long-term birth injuries. For example, this may happen if a doctor uses forceps or vacuum extraction during the delivery.
How birth injuries get classified
Birth injuries typically fall under four categories. They include the following:
- Delayed birth
- Oxygen deprivation
- Medical malpractice
- Other causes
Each of the causes mentioned above is distinct and can lead to injuries with unusual symptoms. However, when caught early, medical professionals may be able to correct the damage caused by some birth injuries. As physicians learn more about the causes of birth injuries, they take more steps to minimize the number of birth injuries experienced each year.