There are few experiences as joyful for new parents as finally holding their newborn in their arms. Unfortunately, if an infant suffers bruising during birth, that special day can become disastrous. Parents do not want their newborn injured, especially not by their doctor’s negligent actions. If your child was the victim of bruising injuries during birth, you should speak with our experienced Maryland attorney for infant bruising during birth today.
Infant bruising injuries usually occur from trauma during the birthing process. Although the physical stress of birth itself often causes infant bruising, it can also result from negligent conduct by the medical professionals in the delivery room. If your child has suffered from bruising during birth, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free consultation.
Bruising Birth Injuries from Difficult Deliveries in Maryland
Birth is a traumatic experience, subjecting an infant’s body to severe pressure. During labor, an expectant mother’s birth canal muscles, along with her pelvic bone, can cause some breakage in a baby’s capillaries, resulting in contusions or bruises. While the natural process of labor can bruise an infant, medical personnel could also injure a newborn during delivery. A common cause of infant bruising is the improper or negligent use of medical instruments when assisting with a difficult delivery.
Obstetric forceps are large tongs designed to grasp a baby’s head and help extract them when labor is prolonged or difficult. A doctor will use forceps to gently grip the baby’s head and guide it through the birth canal. The pressure exerted on a baby’s head will usually leave slight bruising, known as forceps marks, which will heal quickly. If a doctor improperly uses the forceps or applies excessive force, the baby could be severely bruised, suffer brain damage, or suffer a skull fracture.
Vacuum Extraction Deliveries
Vacuum extraction might be used instead of obstetric forceps. Vacuum extraction, or “the ventouse method,” consists of placing the mouth of the extractor against the infant’s head and using suction to grip the baby so it can be pulled through the birth canal. If placed improperly, the extractor can severely bruise an infant’s head. Additionally, the ventouse method can cause cuts or lacerations. Generally, the wounds are superficial and will heal on their own, but sometimes the cuts are deep and require stitches and other treatments to prevent infection or other complications.
Risks of Infant Bruising
Bruising may be preventable if a doctor or medical professional accurately diagnosed the risks and complications presented by a difficult delivery.
Before birth, a baby will naturally position itself in the “vertex presentation,” meaning the head will be facing downward. This allows for a more natural delivery. If the baby fails to fall into this position by itself, the baby may be in a “breech presentation” instead. During a breech birth, there is an increased risk of injury during delivery because the feet or buttocks exit the birth canal first.
Breech births require doctors to pay close attention to both the mother and baby to make sure the delivery goes as smoothly as possible. Complications may necessitate quick intervention if the mother or infant is in distress. Under these strenuous circumstances, a doctor’s negligent conduct can severely bruise or injure a baby.
Premature babies are at a higher risk of being bruised or injured because their bodies are much more fragile than a fully-developed baby’s. Doctors need to exhibit increased care when delivering a premature baby to prevent injuries or other serious medical consequences.
Birth Injuries Related to Bruising During Delivery in Maryland
Although most infant bruising is a side effect of the physical stresses of birth, it can also be a sign of negligent conduct on the part of a doctor or other medical professional. In the majority of cases, a baby’s bruises will heal on their own. However, sometimes they are signs of more serious medical complications.
Swelling in an infant scalp’s soft tissue may indicate a medical condition known as “caput succedaneum.” Symptoms of the condition include a soft, puffy swelling of the scalp, generally on the part of the head that emerged first. These bruises can naturally occur if there is no amniotic fluid layer to protect the baby during delivery. However, the more likely cause is the improper use of a vacuum extractor.
An accumulation of blood underneath the bones of an infant’s skull is a medical condition known as “cephalohematoma.” If there is a large area of intracranial bleeding, the baby may develop jaundice. Usually, the result of contact between the baby’s head and the mother’s pelvic bone, the injury appears as a lump on the infant’s head. However, a doctor may cause the injury by using excessive force when employing obstetric forceps to assist with the delivery.
If your doctor did cause injuries to your baby during the delivery, you may be able to sue them to hold them accountable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Infant Bruising During Birth for a Free Consultation
Although most instances of infant bruising are a result of the physical stresses of childbirth, they can also be caused by medical malpractice on the part of doctors and other medical professionals. If your child suffered severe bruising due to your doctor’s negligent conduct, contact our Maryland attorney for infant bruising during birth. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free consultation.