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What are the leading causes of brain injury at birth?

Not many life experiences are as joyous as having a child. From attending prenatal clinics to planning the baby shower, choosing a name for your baby, shopping for newborn stuff and setting up a nursery, parents leave nothing to chance to ensure that their child’s arrival is as safe as possible. 

Sometimes, however, things don’t quite go to plan. Despite advances in medical technology, birth injuries still happen; and one of the most devastating injuries your baby can sustain during birth is an injury to the brain. But how do brain injuries happen at birth?

Understanding the leading causes of brain injury at birth

Childbirth can be a very delicate process. Human error can greatly increase the risk of brain injury. Here are some of the leading causes of brain injury at birth:

Prolonged labor 

Prolonged labor (also known as “failure to progress”) happens when labor takes an unusually long time. If this happens, the mother’s doctor or nurses are required to monitor the contractions and their strength. They are also required to monitor the baby’s vital signs. If prolonged labor continues and contractions are medically deemed weak, the doctor is supposed to make the call for a C-section. If this does not happen fast enough, the baby might suffer damage to the brain due to oxygen deprivation. 

Improper use of birth-aiding tools 

The improper use of birth-aiding tools like vacuum extractions and forceps can also result in trauma to the baby’s head and brain. A vacuum extraction, for instance, can stretch or tear the nerves on the baby’s head and neck putting them at the risk of both head and spinal cord injuries. Excessive suction too can hurt the baby’s head and scalp. Improper use of the forceps can also result in skull fractures, brain hemorrhage as well as cerebral palsy. 

Exploring your options

The road to recovery after a brain-related brain injury can be quite taxing, both financially and emotionally. Find out how proper legal guidance can help you hold the liable party accountable when filing a birth injury lawsuit.