Birth trauma, or BT, doesn’t occur on the same level in the United States as it does in other countries. Still, there are cases where a child gets injured at birth, 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 mishandled the newborn. There are, however, cases where nothing could have prevented the child from suffering a birth injury.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
Many times, a child suffers lacerations, fractures, or broken bones during the delivery stage. In developing nations, birth trauma has a higher likelihood of happening. For example, children in countries within Asia, Latin America, and Africa all have a higher chance of experiencing an injury because conditions within medical facilities can vary greatly.
More often, children who are larger will have a higher likelihood of suffering an injury because they pose a risk to both the mother and themselves during the delivery process. Sometimes, doctors will opt for a C-section to lower these dangers. The things that can increase the risk for your child to experience trauma include:
- Prolonged labor
- Premature birth
- Babies over 8 pounds, 13 ounces
- Difficult labor or delivery
Lack of Oxygen
One of the most common reasons that a child might suffer an injury like cerebral palsy comes from a lack of oxygen. Hypoxia refers to the cases where there is a partial lack of oxygen. This is slightly less serious than the total absence of oxygen, which is known as anoxia. However, both need immediate medical attention to lower the risk of long-term disabilities. There are also cases where the child’s umbilical cord got wrapped around their neck, which leads to less oxygen to the brain. Any lack of breathing that lasts for longer than three minutes can lead to serious brain damage and other conditions like cerebral palsy. This lifetime disability can keep your child from reaching developmental milestones. Also, medical expenses and care can shoot through the roof. In these cases, you should learn about your options for financial support.
Most traumas will heal on their own without the need for medical intervention. But, you should have them diagnosed by a doctor regardless because this can lower some of the risks. Many times, babies will recover with no complications or very few. Nevertheless, this depends on a number of factors, and it also depends on how severe the injury was. In some cases, it is so subtle that people don’t realize their child suffered a birth disorder until years later.