In childbirth, where joy and anticipation often merge with anxiety, birth injuries are a significant concern that lingers in the background. While childbirth is generally a safe process, there are instances when complications can lead to birth injuries.
These injuries can vary in severity, and in some unfortunate cases, they can result in paralysis in a newborn. Exploring some types of birth injuries that have the potential to cause paralysis helps enable parents to chart the way forward for their babies.
Brachial plexus injury
Brachial plexus injury occurs when there is damage to the network of nerves controlling the arm and hand muscles. This injury often results from excessive pulling during delivery, especially when a health care provider uses forceps or vacuum extraction. When the brachial plexus injury happens, the affected arm can become partially or completely paralyzed.
This is a neurological condition that affects muscle coordination and body movement. Although not always directly caused by childbirth, complications in the course of labor and delivery can increase the risk of developing cerebral palsy. This condition can lead to various forms of paralysis, depending on the severity of the brain damage incurred.
Spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord Injuries during birth are rare but can have catastrophic consequences. These injuries typically occur when excessive force or trauma is applied to the baby’s spine during delivery. Such trauma can result in permanent paralysis, affecting the child’s mobility and overall quality of life.
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a birth injury that occurs due to oxygen deprivation in the baby’s brain. This disorder can result in brain damage and, in severe cases, paralysis. HIE often occurs when there are complications during labor and delivery that compromise the baby’s oxygen supply.
Understanding the types of birth injuries that can cause paralysis can help parents who are considering taking legal action in cases where the injuries were the physician’s fault.