What Are the Most Common Birth Injuries?


We recently summarized the types of cases a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney specializing in birth injury can handle. Those cases are focused on the birth injuries your child could suffer during childbirth. There are often medical issues that arise for the mother of the child as well. Below is a list of medical birth injuries that can occur during childbirth for the mother, the baby, and/or both.

Placental Abruption

The placenta is a temporary organ that develops during pregnancy. Placental abruption happens when the placenta separates from the uterine wall before the baby is delivered. When this happens, the baby could lose vital nutrients and oxygen. Placental abruption is dangerous for the mother and the baby.

Uterine Rupture

Uterine rupture can occur during vaginal childbirth. It happens when the uterus tears, which can allow the baby to slip into the mother’s abdomen. Uterine rupture can lead to severe bleeding for the mother and suffocation for the baby.

Umbilical Cord Prolapse

The umbilical cord is a tube-like structure that connects the fetus to the mother during pregnancy. It is often called the baby’s “lifeline” because it carries nutrients to the baby and carries away the baby’s waste. Before or during childbirth, the umbilical cord can drop through the open cervix into the vagina before the baby is delivered. This dangerous complication is called umbilical cord prolapse and could cause a loss of oxygen for the baby.  

Nuchal Cord

Nuchal cord occurs when the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck. This can happen during pregnancy, labor, or childbirth. Nuchal cord is dangerous because it can obstruct the blood and oxygen flow to the baby.

Meconium Aspiration

Meconium is a tar-like substance that is created by the baby, at first in the womb. It’s known as the “baby’s first stool.” Meconium aspiration is when the baby is stressed and breathes in meconium and amniotic fluid. Meconium aspiration can cause significant health problems and if it is left untreated, it can be fatal to the baby.

Chorioamnionitis (Intrauterine Infection)

The “chorion” is the outer membrane and the “amnion” is the fluid-filled sac surrounding the fetus. Chorioamnionitis is a serious infection that occurs when bacteria infect the chorion, amnion, and amniotic fluid around the baby. This infection can afflict the mother and the baby, and cause premature birth. If left untreated, the mother and baby could develop serious complications including sepsis and respiratory problems.

Cervical Insufficiency / Shortened Cervix / Incompetent Cervix

The cervix is the opening at the lower part of the womb/uterus. Cervical insufficiency is when a woman’s cervix opens too early in the pregnancy process. This can cause premature birth or miscarriage.

Your medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia can help you determine whether any of the above medical issues is the result of a healthcare professional’s actions or omissions.

If you believe you or your child suffered a medical injury before, during, or after your child’s birth, contact the experienced Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at VSCP LAW at vscplaw.com to have your case evaluated.

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