Birth injury risk and awareness

Expectant or new parents in Ohio deserve to experience all of the joys commonly thought about when bringing a new child into their lives. Most of the time, this can happen. In some situations, however, injuries that result from untreated or improperly treated complications during pregnancy or during the birth process itself can cause brain injuries in newborns.

Cerebral palsy, for example, is one condition that can result from a birth injury. Understanding some of the common risks and conditions can arm parents with the knowledge needed in these devastating situations.

Pregnancy complications

Pregnancy can become challenging when complications arise. Early intervention and proper treatment at these times is critical to preventing serious, lifelong consequences for both mothers and babies. Placental abruptions are one type of complications that require immediate attention.

The American Pregnancy Association describes the detachment of the placenta from the lining of the uterus. This can happen completely or partially. In either case, the baby no longer receives the necessary amount of oxygen or nutrition from the mother. Treatment can range from bed rest and monitoring to emergency delivery depending upon the severity of the abruption.

Symptoms must be noted and acted upon promptly by doctors. These include abdominal pain, irregular fetal heartbeat, fast contractions and sometimes vaginal bleeding.

Birth injuries

When delicate fetal nerves are damaged during birth, injuries to the brain can result. According to WebMD, as many as 20 percent of Cerebral Palsy cases develop from these situations. Untreated infections or jaundice, head trauma and insufficient oxygen levels during birth can all cause Cerebral Palsy.

If not obvious at birth, symptoms of Cerebral Palsy typically become evident in the first few years of life. Impaired motor control can be seen to affect speech, hearing, walking and even lead to learning disabilities. Up to half of all sufferers will experience seizures. Roughly 10,000 babies are diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy every year.

Erb's Palsy and Klumpke paralysis are two other conditions that can develop when damage is sustained to the nerve bundle known as the brachial plexus. These nerves are in the shoulder region and any pulling on the shoulders during birth, undue stress on the arms when in breech positions and moving babies' necks or heads to one side while in the birth canal can create these problems. Erb's Palsy patients will have weak or limp upper and lower arms. Klumpke paralysis affects hands and even eyelids.

Prompt action is a must

Parents who believe their babies have been the victims of birth injuries or incorrectly managed conditions during pregnancy should contact a lawyer as soon as they suspect these problems. Legal intervention is a crucial path to receiving necessary compensation for these forms of preventable and tragic injuries.