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Tragic at the Start: Birth Injuries to Mother And Child

When an eagerly awaited birth leads to complications and injury, the world turns upside down. Serious injury to mother or child immediately and sometimes permanently changes dreams of the future. Understanding birth injury is the first step toward moving forward.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), there were almost 160,000 possibly avoidable obstetric injuries to mothers and their children — and that was only in 2006. Some estimates currently place the rate of birth trauma at six to eight injuries per 1,000 births.

Types of birth injury to mothers include:

  • Vaginal and rectal laceration. Perineal and rectal tissue commonly tears during delivery. An improperly performed episiotomy can lead to infection, bleeding and other complications.

  • Caesarean sections. Uterine infection and other serious injury can result from an improperly performed procedure to surgically deliver a baby.

  • Preeclampsia. A serious condition resulting in high blood pressure can prove fatal for mother and child if not properly diagnosed and treated.

  • Anesthesia. Errors in the administration of anesthesia, including epidural mistakes, can have serious consequences for mother and child.

Newborns injured during the birth process may face a lifetime of disability. Common forms of birth trauma to children include:

  • Hypoxia or oxygen deprivation leading to brain injury

  • Spinal cord injury

  • Brachial plexus injury or Erbs palsy, caused by physical trauma during the birth process

  • Caput Succedaneu and Cephalohematoma refer to conditions of swelling or bleeding under the scalp commonly caused by the use of equipment during vaginal birth

  • Bruising, broken and fractured bones

  • Bruising of facial nerves may cause facial drooping or paralysis

Serious injury to mother or child can result in the need for compensation for a lifetime of care. In Florida, the compensation process is complex. If your family was injured by mistakes made at the beginning, speak to skilled legal counsel about financial support needed for your future.

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