During the process of labor and delivery, the baby's head normally leads the way out of the birth canal. Thus it is under much pressure during the birthing process. When there are problems during the delivery, such as a baby that is too big, or a birth canal that is too small, the head, as well as the shoulders, may be injured.
Other problems may occur when the umbilical cord is twisted around the newborn's neck, when the umbilical cord exits the birth canal before the head and the pressure of the head cuts off oxygen to the baby, when the umbilical cord is compressed for some reason, preventing the flow of oxygen, or when the baby is in an abnormal position, such as during a breach birth when the buttocks are situated to come out first or a shoulder gets stuck behind the mother's pubic bone.
Other problems can occur when labor and delivery are prolonged and damage to the newborn is done during the use of forceps or vacuum extraction of the baby.
Trauma to the Brain During Delivery
Birth injuries that occur during the birthing process usually happen as the baby travels through the birth canal. While many newborns suffer minor injuries during birth, most injuries are not serious and repair themselves without any treatment. At times however, some bones may be broken or nerves damaged. The number of birth injuries is decreasing today because of:
- Prenatal ultrasound
- The use of cesarean delivery
Brain injury during birth, when it does occurs, is a result of the brain receiving too little oxygen. Brain cells can survive only a few minutes before they being to die. When the brain becomes deprived of oxygen, brain tissue begins to die
The brain may become oxygen-deficient if the blood entering the brain is not carrying enough oxygen. In addition, if not enough blood is reaching the brain, it might also become oxygen-deficient.
Complications of Brain Trauma
There are a number of complications the newborn may suffer because of brain trauma during labor and delivery, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Mental retardation
- Developmental delays
- Vision problems
If your baby suffered a brain trauma injury, we may be able to help you. Contact a birth injury lawyer today to find out if you qualify for compensation.