Injuries sustained during birth can cause a child to suffer from serious medical conditions that will alter life for both the child and parents. Even more devastating is the fact that many birth injuries are preventable. Many result from the negligence of medical personnel (otherwise known as medical malpractice). Three of the most common causes of birth injuries are trauma, oxygen deprivation and reduced glucose.
Trauma may be caused by the labor process itself or by the actions or inactions of medical personnel. If medical personnel use a vacuum extractor or forceps inappropriately, the tools may cause cerebral contusions or bleeding. Trauma can also result from a long period of repeated contractions, causing the baby’s head to be forced against the mother’s pelvis. In some of these cases, if medical personnel fail to take action to initiate a cesarean section, then brain injury can result.
Oxygen deprivation is another major cause of birth injuries, and it can be caused by a number of different factors. In the womb, the fetus receives oxygen from the mother’s blood through the placenta. But during birth, a child can be deprived of oxygen through the inappropriate use of oxycotin, which is used to expedite the delivery process. During contractions, the flow of oxygenated blood is interrupted, and the excessive use of oxytocin can cause hyperstimulation of the uterus. Oxygen deprivation can also be caused when medical personnel are not prepared to perform a cesarean section quickly enough if it becomes necessary.
During a long and difficult labor, the level of glucose in a baby’s blood may drop to dangerous levels. If medical personnel fail to monitor the levels of glucose in a baby’s blood and take prompt action to correct problems, brain injuries can result.