What Are the Common Causes and Types of Obstetrical Injuries?

Birth injuries can have a devastating effect on the child, mother and family. Some injuries result in birth defects that forever change the life of the newborn. While some injuries may occur even when the obstetrician provided the utmost medical care, many are preventable injuries that are caused by a negligent medical professional. Birth injuries include those injuries that occur during the course of the pregnancy, labor or delivery. What are the most common causes and types of obstetrical injuries?

Types of Obstetrical Injuries

Some of the most common causes of obstetrical injuries include:

  • Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy consists of long-lasting motor skill deficits that result in the physical disability in the child, affecting his or her ability to move various portions of the body. Cerebral palsy can also cause intellectual deficits.
  • Erb’s Palsy: Erb’s palsy consists of a neck injury and nerve damage to nerves that control the shoulder, arm or hand muscles. This condition is often accompanied by paralysis in the arm, shoulder or hand.
  • Umbilical Cord Problems: The umbilical cord may wrap around the baby’s neck, causing him or her to choke or even die.
  • Brain Damage: Brain damage can sometimes occur during the birthing process, impacting the physical, mental, developmental and behavioral function for the child.
  • Brachial Plexus Injury: This injury can cause paralysis of hand and arm muscles. Large birth weight is a major factor in these situations.

Causes of Obstetrical Injuries

Different injuries are caused by different factors. For example, cerebral palsy can occur when a baby is starved of oxygen during birth. This may occur because the baby was not delivered quickly enough or his or her umbilical cord is wrapped around the neck. Approximately 20 percent of cerebral palsy cases are attributed to mismanagement of the birth process. Brain damage can also be caused by deprivation of oxygen or by the use of vacuum extractors.

Erb’s palsy occurs when the head is delivered but the baby’s shoulders are too large, harming the next and causing nerve damage in the process. Having a good understanding of the current size of the baby before labor can prevent natural delivery that may harm the baby and mother.

Proper obstetric care can prevent the risk of many birth injuries.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

Obstetrical injuries can result in disastrous consequences that can affect the baby and mother for years, sometimes even for the rest of the child’s life. The personal injury lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC can review the circumstances of your case and tell you if you have a viable claim for medical malpractice. You may be able to pursue compensation to recover the funds necessary to provide future treatment, rehabilitation and care.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you or someone you know wishes to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney regarding Causes and Types of Obstetrical Injuries, or other personal injury matters, call 480.461.5300. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.