Pregnancy is one of the most joyous occasions a family can experience. Unfortunately, along with the joy, many families experience stress and worry about the safety of the mother and child. Unfortunately, no amount of planning and education can prevent unexpected incidents, such as medical negligence or errors resulting in traumatic injuries. Traumatic injuries caused by injuries at birth can result in consequences that have long-term effects on the entire family.
Some of the most common traumatic injuries during or shortly after birth include:
Research Suggests Long-Term Effects after Injuries at Birth
New research suggests that injuries occurring at birth, even mild injuries, can have a long-term effect on the overall wellbeing of the child.
Nerve damage: Nerve damage, such as that occurring when a baby's neck is stretched during a complicated birth, can cause serious injury resulting in decreased range of motion. Erb's palsy is one of the most common conditions affecting the nerves. With proper treatment and therapy, many cases of Erb's palsy can be reversed within a few years. Severe cases, however, often result in life-long deficits in range of motion, feeling, and overall wellbeing. Therapy and care for children with Erb's palsy can be financially and emotionally taxing for the family.
Brain damage: Brain damage caused by injury at birth can result in lifelong disorders like epilepsy, delays in learning, development, and speech, and serious conditions like cerebral palsy. Traumatic injuries can greatly decrease the child's quality of life and prognosis for the future.
Oxygen deprivation: Scientists have discovered that children with relatively mild oxygen deprivation at birth are susceptible to deficits in learning and development. Research further shows that children with moderate or severe oxygen deprivation are at a much greater risk of developing conditions like attention deficit disorder (ADD), delays in speech and IQ, and autism. These conditions can require medication, therapies, and specialized education and treatment on a continued basis, causing financial hardship for the family.
Any of these traumatic injuries and their long-term effects can be devastating. An already unfortunate situation can be exacerbated when the injury occurs due to medical negligence or error. Anyone suspecting medical negligence or error has caused injury to their child should be diligent in contacting a medical malpractice attorney for guidance.