What are some of the common risk factors during birth?

The birth of a child is the most highly-anticipated day in most peoples’ lives. When something goes wrong, an entire family can be heartbroken.

Birth injuries can leave a child with lifelong injuries and medical needs. In the worst cases, the injury may be fatal to the baby or mother.

What doctors should be watching for

Labor and delivery nurses and OB-GYNs are trained to spot potential problems during labor. They should know the risks involved in cases with issues such as:

  • A baby with a large head
  • A large birth-weight or very low birth-weight baby
  • A baby in the breech position
  • Labor that is either too fast or that is longer than 24 hours
  • The need to use a vacuum or forceps to get the baby out
  • The umbilical cord is compromised
  • The mother shows signs of preeclampsia
  • The mother had a C-section during a previous birth

When medical professionals fail to realize the risks to the mother and baby during labor, the consequences may be devastating. Babies may suffer injuries to their brain, nerves, shoulders and neck. Oxygen deprivation can cause particularly severe injuries, including cerebral palsy.

What can parents do after a birth injury?

It’s normal to feel helpless and angry when a baby or mother suffers an injury before, during or after labor. As a parent, however, you must now make numerous decisions about the future of your family.

Children with permanent birth injuries require extensive medical care for the rest of their lives. A mother with a birth injury may be unable to care for her child or to return to work. Both situations mean the family will need considerable compensation to ensure the mother or baby gets the treatment they need. You may wish to learn more about your rights in this situation so you are prepared to move forward.

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