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Risk factors for birth injuries are very important considerations

When medical malpractice cases involve women who are in labor or the baby as he or she is being born, the situation is very unnerving for the family. There are a host of birth injuries that can occur when a woman isn't monitored properly during labor and delivery.

There are several risk factors for birth injuries that medical staff members must take into account when they are caring for a woman who is in labor. These include the gestational age of the baby, the size of the baby, the shape and size of the mother's pelvis, the birthing presentation and the length of the labor. Each of these can clue medical staff members into a possible birth injury.

Babies that are born before 37 weeks are considered premature and have an increased risk of birth trauma. Larger babies, such as those that are more than 8 pounds and 13 ounces, are at an increased risk. A woman's pelvis that isn't the right shape or size might lead to a birth injury. Babies who aren't going to be born head first can also have an increased risk of birth injuries. Prolonged labor can also lead to birth injuries.

It is possible that some birth injuries that occur won't affect the baby in the long run; however, other birth injuries, such as severe brachial palsy, can last a long time. For the long-term injuries, there is a chance that the cost of caring for the child will be more than what the parents are prepared for. In that case, seeking compensation might help.

Source: Stanford Children's Health, "Birth Injury," accessed April 22, 2016

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