The 5 Most Dangerous Birth Complications

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Having your baby should be a joyous occasion. Bringing new life into the world is a fulfilling but heavy responsibility, and you want to do everything you can to make sure that your newborn is healthy.

However, the path to this successful future can be disrupted as early as birth, where complications can occur that affect the lives of parent and child irrevocably. This list will cover some of the most dangerous birth complications that you should be aware of.

If your newborn was injured in a birth complication caused by medical negligence, consider hiring an attorney to make sure you receive all the compensation that you deserve. If you hire an experienced birth and natal injury lawyer from McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt, you get a legal team ready to ensure your rights are protected, and that the people responsible for injuring your newborn are held accountable.

List of 5 Most Dangerous Birth Complications

While there are a variety of complications that can occur when having a child, some complications are more dangerous than others. The following complications can be unavoidable, but medical staff can often take steps to avoid excessive damages to the newborn if the complication is noticed early enough.

One: Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia occurs when a baby’s shoulder becomes caught on the mother’s pelvis bone or becomes stuck before entering the birth canal. If the baby becomes stuck it quickly becomes a medical emergency. A baby being stuck in that position can cause the vital oxygen flow to stop and lead to oxygen deprivation. This can cause permanent brain injury or even death and may cause cerebral palsy.

To avoid this, a baby needs to be quickly dislodged from where it is stuck. Why this is one of the most dangerous complications, however, is because what doctors and nursing staff can do to rectify this condition may also cause other problems. If medical professionals use too much pressure, force, or pull and twist too hard, they can cause physical damage to the baby. This excessive force can fracture the baby’s delicate collar bones and cause severe damage to the base of the neck, leading to Erb’s palsy.

Two: Fetal Macrosomia

Fetal macrosomia refers to a child that is too large to safely give birth to through the vaginal canal. As a rule, this is any baby that is over nine pounds. There is nothing medically wrong with being or having a large baby. However, a large baby is far more likely to get stuck in the birthing canal, leading to oxygen deprivation and potentially causing significant brain injuries.

Three: Umbilical Cord Prolapse

A prolapsed umbilical cord is a serious birth complication (though it only rarely occurs, happening in less than one percent of pregnancies). It occurs when the umbilical cord enters the birthing canal before the baby does. In a typical birth, the baby exits the womb and enters the vaginal canal head-first. Once the child has exited the mother, the umbilical cord follows.

When the umbilical cord prolapses and is instead in front of the baby, this is a very precarious situation. As the baby starts to exit the womb, it will push on and compress the umbilical cord. This can restrict and even cut off the baby’s oxygen supply as the umbilical cord become more compressed through labor.

If the umbilical cord becomes prolapsed, the baby needs to immediately be delivered. This is one of the only cases where the oxygen supply can be completely cut off from the child, resulting in a high perinatal mortality rate for births where the umbilical cord is prolapsed.

Four: Uterine Rupture

This complication is incredibly dangerous for both mother and child. While a very rare occurrence, uterine rupture occurs when the uterine wall of the mother’s uterus tears. This can occur without warning, and severe cases may cause a hole to open in the uterus allowing for amniotic fluid to leak out from the uterus and in the worst case, the baby may even exit the womb.

A uterine rupture should immediately be addressed, and the baby needs to be delivered within minutes, as this complication quickly leads to oxygen deprivation. Even if an emergency C-section is done within 10-30 minutes, it may not be soon enough to prevent brain injury or infant death.

Five: Chorioamnionitis

This condition is caused during pregnancy because a bacterial infection carried by the mother enters the amniotic fluid or fetal membrane, and sometimes both. Though it is fairly common for the mother to gain a bacterial infection during pregnancy, chorioamnionitis is very rare and more dangerous.

A bacterial infection in the amniotic fluid can impact oxygen flow and nutrients to the baby, which can cause brain injuries. This condition may cause premature labor and increases the chance of your child developing cerebral palsy.

Getting Compensation

If you believe that your newborn child was injured by a birth complication because of medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Consider McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt when hiring a birth injury lawyer. From broken bones or trauma to delayed C-sections, if your baby was injured during birth McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt can help you hold the right people responsible.

If you choose to pursue legal action, you likely get compensation for mental anguish and receive funds to help you adjust your life to caring for a child with cerebral or Erb’s palsy. McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt can help you get the compensation you need. Fill out a contact form, find a location near you in the Pennsylvania area, or call us at 1-800-590-4116.