Detecting Birth Injuries
It’s hard to imagine the emotional turmoil parents experience when their child is injured during the delivery process. Parents are demanding answers to the who, what, when, where and how questions. Some parents are given the run-around. Others are told that there is no way to tell when or how the injury occurred. The truth is, some say, there is a lack of initiation by medical authorities to determine what really happened.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
According to the Oregon Health and Science University, birth injuries can often be traced back to the size or position of the baby during delivery. Particular conditions associated with a difficult birth include, but not limited to, the following:
- Large babies (babies over 8 pounds 13 ounces)
- Prematurity (babies born before 37 weeks)
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (the inadequacy of the size and shape of the mother’s pelvis)
- Dystocia (difficult labor or childbirth)
- Prolonged labor (labor lasting for a long period of time)
- Abnormal birthing presentation (babies positioned breech or buttocks first prior to delivery)
Fortunately, a neuroradiologist possesses the training and ability to determine if a baby experienced brain injury during childbirth. A neuroradiologist, a radiologist with further training in areas of the brain and spinal cord, can interpret MRI’s, CT scans and ultrasounds of the brain.
Neuroradiologists will often examine the brain injury, the pattern, and how it changed over time to determine when and how the injury occurred.
Fetal Monitoring Strips
Fetal monitoring strips are an invaluable tool experts find especially helpful in determining when birth injuries occur. These strips monitor contractions and the heart rate of the fetus. The strips let nurses and doctors know what is happening during the delivery process and indicate any fetal distress. Any increase or decrease in fetal heart rates or variability in the contractions may require action by the delivery staff.
Working with an Attorney
If you suspect your child experienced any type of injury at birth, it is important to work with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. These cases are complex and often require the work of experts to determine the extent of the injury, when it occurred and who is ultimately responsible.