A birth injury occurs immediately before, during or after labor and delivery and can harm either the mother or newborn. These injuries range from minor scratches or bruises that heal quickly to medical problems that cause long-term disability.
Prepare for your family’s new addition by understanding the risk factors that lead to common types of birth injuries.
Common birth injuries
Head trauma is the most common birth injury for infants. This category includes:
- Scratching, bruising or swelling
- Bleeding around the skull
- Bleeding in and around the brain
- Skull fracture
Other common birth injuries affecting newborns include limited oxygen flow, limited blood flow, broken bones, spinal cord injuries and nerve damage. The long-term outcomes after these issues depend on the type of injury and severity.
Some mothers and infants have a higher risk of birth injuries. Some risk factors include:
- Breech or other abnormal fetal position
- Fetal weight of 10 pounds or greater
- Use of forceps or vacuum
- Maternal obesity
Sometimes, a birth injury occurs because of medical error. In this case, your family may have a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In Illinois, you have two years from the date the birth injury occurs or you receive a diagnosis to seek legal recourse. If the injury affects your infant, a specific statute of limitations may apply. If you can prove that the health care provider’s negligence led to the injury, the court can award financial damages that cover your family’s medical bills, transportation to medical appointments, loss of function, pain and suffering, and other associated costs.