Types of Birth Disorders and Injuries
There are a variety of birth injuries that you can encounter when you have a child. While some will only last a few days to a couple of weeks, others – like cerebral palsy – can last a lifetime. The symptoms of a birth injury will differ from one infant to the next. One child may only experience mild symptoms while another has severe symptoms. In some cases, parents may not even know that their child has a birth disorder because it can go undiagnosed.
With brain injuries, there are several different ways that they can manifest in your child’s life. Typically, after birth, brain injuries happen due to what is known as either hypoxia or anoxia. In other words, oxygen deprivation causes brain damage. Brain injuries might also take place due to kernicterus, which causes jaundice secondary to an increased bilirubin level. . Too much bilirubin gets into the bloodstream, and this can cause brain damage.
Many times, people misinterpret cerebral palsy as a type of birth disorder that is muscle related. In fact, CP is a neurological condition that causes communication problems between the brain and the muscles of the body. Typically, a muscle-related injury will be easier to diagnose. Through a clinical evaluation, you can pinpoint the source of the problem with muscle-based injuries. With muscle-related injuries, some of them will be the direct result of medical malpractice. For example, broken bones, lacerations, and bruises could be due to medical malpractice. There are a few muscle-related diseases that are common with birth injuries, like:
- Klumpke’s disease
- Erb’s palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Brachial plexus
Injuries Because of Infection
Believe it or not, infections passed from the mother to the child can cause a birth disorder. The doctor has a responsibility to the mother and the child to treat this as soon as it arises. This lowers the risk that the child will be born with a birth defect. Some of the infections that are dangerous to the child include meningitis and group B strep infection.
There a variety of types of birth disorders that manifest before or after birth. In addition, there are injuries that can arise during a delivery. Many times, an injury like this will happen from medical instruments like a vacuum extractor or forceps; which are tools intended to deliver the child. No matter what the injury, you should try to get it diagnosed as soon as possible so that the necessary steps toward managing the injury can be made.
Typically, fetal lacerations happen when a child comes into the world through a caesarian section. Usually when this happens, the doctor made a mistake, and he used improper procedures during the childbirth. With fetal lacerations, they often happen as a result of cuts and nicks that were the direct result of forceps, scalpels and improper procedure on the medical staff’s part when giving birth to the child. A surgical delivery comes with its fair share of risks.
Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia
When folic acid deficiency anaemia strikes, it happens because of a lack of red blood cells in the body. Medical science advances every day, and we have easy access to foods rich in folic acid. The vast majority of women can avoid deficiency as long as they stay informed about it. Still, you have cases where women will experience a deficiency, and if you don’t treat it, it can lead to medical problems for both the mother and the child to come.
Forceps Delivery Injury
When you go to have a child, the last thing that you ever want is for a them to have a birth injury. Unfortunately, birth disorder can happen when you go to deliver the child with a forceps. The number of injuries associated with this is a cause for concern. That has become one of the major reasons that doctors often choose to use a vacuum extraction tool. The forceps was first invented in 1735 to help with the delivery of children. Not much has changed since then.
Group B Strep Infection
Group B Step Infection has had a negative impact on one out of every 2,000 babies each year. This common bacterium normally comes from out of the intestines, and you can also find it in the lower genital tract. It can cause a serious illness known as Group B Strep Infection. Normally, this will be harmless in healthy adults, but it can pose an exceptional number of health complications to infants. Doctors usually try to screen and treat this problem before it has the chance to materialize.
Horner’s Syndrome happens from damage that occurs to the nerves that lead from the brain over to the face and eyes. Luckily, this condition only affects 1.42 out of every 100,000 people under the age of 19. Meanwhile, you have an estimated 6,250 cases that happen at birth. Meanwhile, 65 percent of the cases happen from trauma or a birth injury that causes it. When you characterize Horner’s syndrome, this rare disease is spotted by a constriction of the pupil. You might also see a drooping upper eye lid.
Hydrocephalus, a health condition where you see an unusual buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in parts of the brain cavities known as ventricles, can be hard to determine because of how it can strike against both children and adults. This has become known as a congenital condition. That means that this condition could even be present as a birth injury before or at the individual’s birth. In some cases, they acquire this during the fetal stage of development.
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy HIE
Infant hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy happens when oxygen deprivation occurs within the brain. As a result of this condition, your child could have cerebral palsy. HIE has become one of the most common forms of brain damage that you can encounter. It happens as the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen and blood to the brain. Many times after this condition has attacked the brain, it will cause a severe cognitive delay, developmental problems and motor impairments. In some cases, this won’t become apparent until your child begins to develop.
Infant Bell's Palsy
The medical community has defined infant bells palsy as a weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. While this isn’t typically your long-term condition, it can still cause some long-term health complications. Researchers have continued to search for the causes of what is behind the cause of baby bells palsy. When someone has this condition, they might have a hard time moving one part of their mouth, nose or eyelid. That side of the face might look stiff or to make the face droop.
Infant Bleeding Brain
When a child suffers a birth injury, it will range anywhere from the mild to the severe, and while some injuries will go away with time, you have others that will need lifetime care. Infant brain bleeding, usually known as a brain hemorrhage, can have some serious implications that can lead to brain damage or even death. Responding to it fast is of the essence to prevent long-term disability. Birth injury can happen for a variety of reasons, but you should always seek the care of a doctor as soon as you notice that something has gone wrong. In addition, this will also ensure the best possible outcome for your child.
Infant Brain Ischemia
Brain ischemia happens whenever a lack of blood flow to the brain causes brain damage. Basically, this happens because of how the brain gets starved from the blood needed to function properly. Infant brain ischemia differs from a brain hemorrhage in that it’s the exact opposite. With a hemorrhage, a blood vessel breaks and the blood floods into the brain. During this time, the brain cells die, and it causes brain damage. Brain ischemia happens whenever the blood gets starved of oxygen and blood for too long of a time.
Infant Broken Bones
As much as possible, you want your child to enter the world with as of few disabilities as possible, and you want them to live a happy and healthy life. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen, and your child can suffer a birth injury despite your best efforts at keeping them healthy. Infant broken bones are one of the last things that you want your child to go through, but it can happen as the child exits the birth canal.
Infant Cervical Dystonia
Also known as spasmodic torticollis, infant cervical dystonia occurs as a neurological medical condition where the baby’s neck muscles snap back and contract involuntarily. When this happens, the child’s head might move to one side, forwards and backwards. The pain can range anywhere from mild up to severe. To clarify, cervical dystonia can happen at all ages, but when it happens in an infant, you could typically call it a birth injury because of how it is commonly associated with birth trauma.
Known as an inflammation of the fetal membrane that happens because of a bacterial infection, many times this will get caught within the mother’s urogenital tract. Unfortunately, it eventually works its way up to the child and infects the fetal membrane. This can become a big problem for both the child and the mother. You want a doctor to handle this as soon as possible because if not, it can lead to sepsis and blood clots.
Infant Cystic Fibrosis
Around 300,000 people suffer from this condition within the United States, and cystic fibrosis has been marked as individuals who have difficulty with digestion and breathing. This condition can start to develop no matter what age a person is. When infant cystic fibrosis happens, a buildup of mucus will happen within the body. This chronic health condition can cause issues with both digestion and breathing. Digestions happen through the food that you have eaten. As this mucus builds up, it will build up within the lungs and the digestive system. This can cause issues with how you breathe and digest food.
Infant Dystonia Disorder
Infant dystonia disorder affects the child’s muscles through causing slow, writhing and involuntary movements. It could also have to do with postures that have been taken by the muscles. While some have mistakenly thought of infant dystonia disorder as a muscular disorder, in fact, this birth injury happens as a result of a neurological condition. The communication that happens between the brain and the nerves don’t work correctly, and this is what causes the disorder.
Newborn babies have the highest risk of all age groups that they will develop an illness known as meningitis. This happens when they have a weaker immune system and a higher vulnerability to viruses and other illnesses. The bacteria that causes meningitis can get transferred from the mother to the child. Normally, doctors will do a screening to try to identify the problem before it has the opportunity to materialize.
Infant Shoulder Dystocia
A birth injury that happens when one or both of the baby’s shoulders get trapped on the mother’s pelvis in labor, infant shoulder dystocia will have the child born safely in most cases. However, you have cases where it leads to birth injury. In fact, it can harm the mother giving birth to the child as well. To put a clearer definition on this term, dystocia means that there was a long and difficult labor. You have another situation where this can happen when the baby comes face first, and the doctor pulls the child out from the head. This puts a lot of stress on the child’s neck.
Infant Skull Fractures
Anyone who suffers a skull fracture could have serious health implications. However, when it happens to the vulnerable brain of infants, it becomes an especially dangerous situation. Unfortunately, doctors haven’t been able to determine how common this injury is because of how difficult it can be to diagnose. Minor fractures that can heal more on their own may be more common than what gets reported for injury. A skull fracture can range anywhere from the more mild cases up to the severe where medical attention is essential to save the child’s life.
Infant Spina Bifida
Infant spina bifida happens when the spine and the spinal cord don’t form properly for the infant. This form of birth injury classifies under the broader category of a neural tube defect, and it can range anywhere from a milder case to something more severe. You have to understand not only how your child developed this condition but the various treatments available to him.
Infant Spinal Cord Damage
While only 5 percent of children suffer injuries to the spinal cord within the United States, this birth injury can leave them with even more medical problems. You might feel fear that your child’s spinal cord got damaged. Nevertheless, you can educate yourself about the causes and learn about the potential treatments that may help him.
Infant Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
Infant subconjunctival hemorrhage classifies as a medical condition where the blood vessels under the eye rupture. You don’t have a specific age group where this can’t happen, but newborn children have especially been known to be vulnerable to it because of how they might experience trauma during the process of birth.
Doctors have given infant torticollis the term of “wry neck.” This happens whenever the baby’s neck has twisted, and the end result is that their neck tips to one side. Meanwhile, the chin will most likely point upwards. You have a few different causes for this condition. It could happen because of accidents or illnesses, but it could also come as a result of a birth injury. Let’s highlight some of the symptoms so that you will understand how to address this problem.
Intellectual disability in babies can be a great disadvantage in life, but you still love your child no matter what. Whether this condition happens as a more mild case or a more severe case, this birth injury can lead to a host of problems. These injuries have a reputation for causing parents a lot of grief, and they normally happen before, during or shortly after the doctor delivers the baby.
Kernicterus, considered a rare and preventable form of brain damage, often happens in the case of newborns who were born with jaundice. As the bilirubin reaches high levels, it can cause brain damage to the child. People commonly and mistakenly believe that jaundice won’t hurt anyone. In fact, if you don’t treat and diagnose it, it can lead to a major medical complication. You should understand the risks of kernicterus and the dangers that it might cause to your newborn infant.
Doctors consider Klumpke’s palsy as a form of brachial plexus palsy because of how it affects the lower portion of the brachial plexus nerves. Considered a more serious form of Erb’s palsy, Klumpkes palsy that affects the lower two out of the five brachial plexus nerves. It can cause a paralysis in your hand and forearm. That’s one of the reasons that this condition has the potential to be so serious. Luckily, most consider this a rare form of disease that only affects 200,000 people in the entirety of the United States.
Believe it or not, maternal infections can pose as much danger to the infant as what it can to the mother. In fact, in some cases, the danger doubles or even triples for the infant because of how it can lead to lifetime disabilities for the child if the mother doesn’t bring it into check as soon as possible. The mother risks health problems, but it can lead to birth injury in the child.
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
A deadly condition that affects between two to five percent of all births, meconium aspiration syndrome threatens the lives of all infants who have it. While doctors have improved the mortality rate in the last few decades, you still have a high risk of lifelong disabilities from this condition. Normally, meconium is only passed after the birth, but sometimes it gets passed into the amniotic fluid before or at the time of birth. If this gets breathed into the lungs and deposited, you have a high risk of health complications when untreated.
When most people think of strokes, they associate it with people over the age of 35, but even infants have the risk of suffering a stroke. In fact, babies have the same risk of a stroke as what the elderly have. They call this a neonatal stroke. It remains a mystery to parents, but understanding the causes can go a long way in helping you. You should learn the signs of what you need to look out for.
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension Newborns
Persistent pulmonary hypertension newborns condition happens when a child reverts back to fetal circulation. Unfortunately, when this happens, the flow of blood will bypass the lungs of the child, and it will prevent breathing. As you can imagine, this has the potential to be a life-or-death condition, considering how infants will begin to develop brain damage after just three minutes. After a child has been born, it’s a normal part for the blood pressure within the lungs to drop. Once the child has been born, this lets them breathe on their own.
Placental Birth Injuries
You want your child to be born with as few of injuries as possible. You want him to live a happy and healthy life. The placenta attaches to the utero of the mother, and it serves one of the most important functions when it comes to pregnancy. Not only does it bring nutrients, the child also receives oxygen and blood through the transfer. Let’s say that you have a placental birth injury during the pregnancy. The consequences can be threatening if you don’t diagnose and treat it in a timely fashion. To paint a better picture, let’s have a look at placental birth injuries.
Vacuum Extraction Injury
Doctors try to deliver children without the use of extraction tools because of how it adds to the level of risk, but in some cases, either because of pain medication or a long-term labor, the mother is no longer able to push the child out. As a result, doctors use tools like the vacuum extractor to help bring the child out. Unfortunately, you have cases where it can lead to a vacuum extraction injury.
In a perfect world, no child would ever suffer the ill effects of a birth injury that came from a lack of care. In fact, no child would get hurt from this whatsoever. Unfortunately, while you have standards that were set for everyone to work toward, humans make mistakes, and when they do, it can lead to an injury. Doctors have a responsibility to the mother to keep her informed, and they have a responsibility to the child to keep him healthy. You have cases where the doctor doesn’t tell you about your child having a risk for severe birth defects, and that’s what they call wrongful birth. When a child enters the world with a severe health problem, and the parents weren’t warned about the potential for it.
Birth trama, or BT for short, doesn’t happen on the same level in the United States as what it does in other countries. Still, you have cases where the child gets injured as a result of birth. This is known as a birth injury. As a general estimate, 29 out of every 1,000 babies will be born with a birth disorder. This often happens because a doctor used an instrument poorly or handled the newborn improperly. You do, however, have cases where nothing could have prevented the child from suffering a birth injury.
In the last decade, C-section births have increased in popularity, and this has led to a higher number of C-section injuries. If you were to look at the statistics from 2010 alone, 32 percent of all the births within the United States happened through the medium of C-section. You have many reasons that doctors choose this route like with higher-risk pregnancies where it lowers the risk of health complications. However, this process of delivery comes with its own share of risks.
The medical community refers to it as caput succedaneum, and this describes a swelling that happens with the scalp after he has been delivered. Children have an increased risk of this if they are delivered headfirst. That’s because pressure gets exerted on the head, and this can damage the scalp of the child. It can cause slight discomfort to the child, but doctors don’t consider this a life-threatening condition. Where you have to exercise caution of caput succedaneum is through the fact that it can cause other health problems like jaundice.
When infant cephalohematoma occurs, blood cells accumulate in the space between the infant’s scalp and his skull. You may even see a swelling within the skin. This health condition happens to between one to two percent of all births, but you have a higher risk of it happening if the doctor uses a birth assisting tool like the forceps or extraction vacuum during the delivery. Normally, this condition will heal without major medical problems.
Cognitive Developmental Disabilities
Previously, they called children with cognitive developmetal disabilities as having a case of mental retardation. Time has slowly phased this out, however. This has become one of the most common disabilities that face children in the United States face with 6.5 million people who have some level of it. When you have a child, the last thing that you want is for them to have a birth injury or some type of disability, but sometimes, you can’t avoid it.
Epidural Birth Injuries
Millions of pregnant women use an epidural for their birth every year because it relieves them of some of the pain. Pregnancies have been called one of the worst pains that a person can go through. They use this as the most common form of pain relief for the labor and delivery of the child, but you have cases where it has led to the injury of the child. Even despite the popularity of it, your use of it can lead to epidural birth injuries.