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Can a birth injury cause developmental disabilities?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2022 | Birth Injury

If you are raising a child with a developmental disability such as autism or cerebral palsy, you know how challenging it can be. Cognitive and other disabilities are often considered to be naturally caused; however, there are cases where these issues may be correlated with birth injuries.

Potential brain-altering traumas during birth

 When a child is firstborn, the brain is at its most delicate state, and even the slightest trauma can cause a permanent change. The Birth Injury Guide states that if your child had to be birthed with the use of forceps or vacuum extraction, it is possible that the procedure could have caused bleeding in the skull or even a skull fracture.

Another permanently damaging birth injury is asphyxia or hypoxia. This is when an infant is deprived of oxygen for a significant period of time during the birthing process, and can lead to permanent brain damage.

Disabilities correlated with birth injuries

 Some studies have found a correlation between hypoxia during birth and problems with fine motor skills. This can also be related to social anxiety, even if the oxygen deprivation lasted for less than a minute.

Some changes in the brain such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome are also correlated with deprivation of oxygen to an infant’s brain. ADD/ADHD can be related to trauma during birth. A birth injury can even be an explanation for more mild disabilities, such as delays in reading or math skills during a child’s schooling.

Know the difference between birth injury and birth defect

Birth injuries are oftentimes hard to see coming, as they typically occur during the actual birthing process. The healthcare that is needed and provided during a woman’s labor experience can sometimes be unpredictable, with rare procedures used in some cases. While most doctors and nurses exercise the utmost care during the labor process, they do make mistakes on occasion. Those mistakes can lead to birth injuries.

Birth defects, on the other hand, may be detected long before the birthing process. Genetic defects or conditions could be detected by examinations and ultrasounds. Or, the defect might only be apparent once the baby is born. In many cases, it is hard to prove that a birth defect was caused by medical malpractice. As a result, many medical malpractice cases that involve the birth of a child will be based on an allegation of a birth injury.