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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

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Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Pediatric Brain Injuries - Prevention

Pediatric brain injuries are serious. When they occur, the result can be devastating to the child and family. Brain injuries can happen for a number of reasons, but many are preventable. Some of the causes of brain injuries during labor and delivery include:

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  • Delay of C-section
  • Failure to monitor baby and mother
  • Prolonged labor
  • Distress of baby
  • Breech Birth
  • Large baby
  • Premature Birth
Elk & Elk

The failure of the doctor and medical staff to properly monitor the birth process could be considered negligent care in some cases. This could be due to the physician choosing the wrong medical treatment or simply because the doctor failed to take the care necessary.

Brain injuries can happen when there is a lack of oxygen to the baby. This can happen when the baby is in distress or when labor becomes prolonged and difficult. If the birth is delayed, the baby could be deprived of oxygen, even for a short period of time.

High-Risk Factors

Some pregnancies are considered high-risk. Labor and delivery should be closely monitored to ensure that complications are avoided. If a problem occurs, medical staff should be prepared to handle it as quickly as possible. Some examples of risk factors are instances where the mother is diabetic, has high blood pressure or has an infection. Doctors need to identify these pregnancies so that proper medical treatment will be provided to prevent an injury during birth.

If you have any medical conditions that could put your baby at risk for birth injuries discuss the situation with your obstetrician. It is important that your physician has a plan in place should your labor or delivery become difficult. There should be a skilled medical team in place to handle any possible problems that could arise.

Preventing Birth Injuries

There are some things parents can do to help reduce the potential for the occurrence of a birth injury.

  • Receive proper prenatal care through the pregnancy. Women generally receive important prenatal care beginning as early as possible. If a potential problem is identified, it should be closely monitored.
  • Discuss the possibility of having a c-section with your doctor. Some instances of birth injuries happen when a doctor doesn’t perform a c-section quickly enough. Parents need to remember that sometimes a c-section is a necessity and can save the baby from harm.
  • Learn the procedures that will be done during your delivery. Tour the medical facility to learn more about what to expect during the process. Ask your doctor questions so that you are not surprised by anything that occurs during labor or delivery.
  • Ask your doctor how emergency situations during delivery are handled. In high-risk situations, the physician should have a medical team in place to take care of any possible complications that may happen.
  • Choose an experienced doctor and medical staff. Research various doctors in your area before choosing one. Pick an experienced obstetrician. Look for a medical office with several doctors on staff that specialize in gynecology and obstetrics.
  • Consider choosing a doctor with an affiliation with a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Not all hospitals are equipped with a NICU, but it can be a crucial factor if your baby suffers a brain injury during birth.

When a brain injury occurs, it may be due to negligence on the part of the doctor or other medical professionals. It is helpful for parents to understand the labor and delivery process and to work with their physician.