Birth DefectsBirth Defects and Birth Injuries

Hypoxia and Birth Asphyxia

One common type of birth injury is Hypoxia or Birth Asphyxia which is limitation or loss of oxygen to a baby during or following labor and delivery and which can irreversibly damage an infant’s brain, lungs, eyes and gastrointestinal tract.  Factors such as insufficient amniotic fluid, low blood pressure of the mother, shock, placental abruption and compression of the umbilical cord can all result in oxygen deprivation to your baby.  A baby who suffers from hypoxia or birth asphyxia may have a diminished quality and length of life. This traumatic baby brain injury could bankrupt a family with ongoing medical costs.

Shoulder Dystocia

Another type of birth injury is Shoulder Dystocia  which is the inability of an infant to pass one or both shoulders freely through the birth canal. Shoulder dystocia is not always capable of being recognized until it occurs.  However, some factors which can be relative predictors of shoulder dystocia, include a larger than average baby, small pelvis of the mother, prior deliveries and gestational diabetes.  When shoulder dystocia is encountered, its immediate recognition and proper obstetrical maneuvers and management are crucial to the future health of the child.  Shoulder dystocia can result in nerve injury to the arm and shoulder which may be permanent, hypoxia and birth asphyxia and brain injury if mechanical efforts are required (forceps, vacuum) to assist in extraction of the infant.

Prenatal Testing

While prenatal testing is common and can screen for abnormalities prior to birth, it is not infallible.  It is also necessary that the doctors order the appropriate testing for you and your child. Enhanced testing, either genetic testing or ultrasound can provide important information as to the health of your baby, even before he or she is born.  If performed appropriately and in accordance with any risk factors, prenatal testing can assist doctors in assuring that your baby will be born normal, healthy and free of birth defects and birth injuries.

If your baby was born with a birth defect which you believe could have been determined during your pregnancy, please contact the Lewis Law Firm today to speak with a birth injury lawyer.

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