Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

Don't assume that birth injuries are commonplace

During your life, you've likely met someone in Connecticut with cerebral palsy, a shoulder dystocia or some other type of injury. If you were to ask them about their impairment, they'd likely tell you that they've had it as long as they can remember. These types of birth injuries are far too common. Most of them are caused by a fetus's body being subjected to extreme physical pressure during childbirth, including while traveling through the birth canal.

While it's common for newborns to suffer minor cuts, scrapes or bruising during their delivery, they generally recover from these in a matter of days following their birth. Babies who suffer more serious injuries such as broken bones or damaged nerves may also heal with medical intervention in a matter of weeks. Some don't ever get better though.

Certain factors that make a baby more vulnerable to getting hurt during childbirth than others. If a baby is estimated to weigh 10 or more pounds, then an obstetrician may urge the mother to deliver their child via cesarean section (C-section). They may also recommend this if the baby is abnormally positioned in the womb as well.

High rates of birth injuries used to be caused by doctors unnecessarily using forceps, or a surgical tool that would clasp around a baby's head. Many resorted to using the metal instrument to pull babies out of the womb instead of relying on the mother's body to naturally birth it during the labor and delivery process itself.

Many doctors now only use forceps during the final stages of childbirth. Birth injuries have significantly been reduced as a result.

Another factor that has aided doctors in reducing the birth injury rate is increased use of prenatal assessments and ultrasound technology. Frequent monitoring of at-risk mothers and regular imaging has helped doctors better determine how the fetus is developing and to know when it's best to perform a C-section.

While minor scratches, bruising and other easily recoverable injuries can be expected during childbirth, those that leave an individual with more lasting impairments are not. A medical malpractice attorney can provide you with strong legal advocacy when you suspect that negligence has occurred at the hands of your New Haven doctor.

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