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What can cause injuries at birth?

If your baby was injured during the labor and delivery process, you likely have a lot of questions, the biggest of which is ? Oftentimes, birth injuries come down to the negligence of the attending doctors and nurses.

According to FindLaw, birth injuries can happen for any number of reasons. If you want to file a medical malpractice claim, it is important to understand the more common birth injuries and how they occur.

Cerebral palsy, an often-preventable condition that permanently alters body movement and muscle coordination, occurs due to lack of oxygen to the baby's brain. This lack of oxygen is usually the result of an obstructed delivery, anesthesia errors or the use of a vacuum extractor or forceps. A delivery doctor should monitor the baby's heart rate throughout the entire labor and delivery process and, if the fetus shows signs of distress, order an emergency C-section. If he or she fails to order the appropriate procedures, he or she may be liable for resulting damages.

Shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby's shoulders get stuck after the head has already been delivered. This typically happens when the mother's pelvic opening is too narrow, the baby is too large, the mother has diabetes, the mother is obese or the mother is pregnant with multiples. Whatever the reason, a trained doctor should anticipate the issue and take necessary measure to mitigate risks.

Erb's palsy is another preventable condition that results from the stretching or tearing of the nerves from a baby's neck to the arm. Risk factors include gestational diabetes, a large baby and a first pregnancy. The attending doctor should monitor the mother throughout the duration of her pregnancy to ensure that the conditions align for a healthy and smooth birth. If injury occurs because of failure to monitor, the health care provider may be held liable.  

The information in this article is for purely educational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice. 

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