Discovering that your newborn has a serious medical birth injury can be devastating. Many birth injuries are pretty obvious. Parents may see swelling and bruise on their child's face, head, shoulders or torso shortly after the birth of the child. Some injuries may not be apparent until later in the child's development. Brain injuries, such as cerebral palsy, may not show signs or symptoms until nearly one year of age. Though the majority of health care providers do good work, mistakes are sometimes made which affect a person, as well as their friends and family for the rest of their lives.
Birth injuries can be caused during the birthing process, fetal development or shortly after development. Some birth injuries may not be serious and may heal within a few weeks. However, there are some birth injuries such as temporary loss of nerve or muscle function that is caused by pressure, swelling or bruising through the birthing process may resolve itself within a few weeks to months following birth. However, nerves may be irreparably harmed and the resulting damage may be permanent.
Some examples of birth injuries that can occur shortly before, during or after delivery that can cause devastating neurological injury such as Cerebral and Erb's Palsy:
Cerebral Palsy is an injury to the brain that can be caused from a multitude of conditions associated with a lack of oxygen to the baby's brain. These conditions can occur before, during or after delivery and can cause irreparable harm and permanent damage to the baby's brain resulting in different degrees of cognitive, speech and motor deficits. While it is possible to diagnose infants shortly after birth, other cases may not be apparent until the child is older and not reaching developmental milestones.
Erb's Palsy is an injury to the upper nerves of the baby's arm during delivery that can result in permanent paralysis of the arm or difficulty with hand movement. Erb's Palsy can be caused by shoulder systocia where by the baby's shoulder gets trapped under the mother's pubic bone during the birthing process resulting in nerve injury of the baby's arm and shoulder. Temporary loss of nerve or muscle function caused by pressure, swelling or bruising through the birthing process may resolve itself within a few weeks to months following birth. However, in some cases of Erb's Palsy caused by shoulder dystocia, nerves may be irreparably harmed, and the resulting damage may be permanent.
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