It’s a sad reality, but there are many different types of birth injuries that can occur during pregnancy and labor. Consequently, many babies suffer from a wide range of symptoms from minor to severe. While not all birth injuries require treatment—some conditions just need monitoring—many birth injuries will need some type of treatment in order for the baby to make the best possible recovery and be able to live a relatively normal life.
Common Types of Treatment
The severity of the birth injury will determine which type of treatment is needed. Because there are many treatments available, we have put together a list of common treatment methods used in birth injury cases. For most babies born with birth injuries, treatments typically fall into one of the following three categories:
- Therapy. Many babies born with birth injuries need physical therapy and occupational therapy to help them make the best recoveries. Infants born with shoulder dystocia, a brachial plexus injury, or brain damage usually benefit from physical therapy. Even infants born with cerebral palsy work with physical therapists to strengthen muscles. Physical therapy can help injured children learn how to walk, stand, and sit down through exercises that promote flexibility, strength, balance, and coordination. Occupational therapy helps injured children with doing daily tasks such as eating and swallowing, grooming, getting dressed and using the toilet. Occupational therapists do this through a series of exercises, neuro-musculoskeletal activities, and other types of therapy treatment. Sometimes, therapy can help injured infants make complete recoveries; however, if a birth injury is severe, lifelong assistance and therapy treatments may be the result.
- Medication. When a baby has a seizure after birth due to a birth injury, a baby will need to be treated with anti-seizure medication to control spastic movements. If a baby suffers brain damage during labor and delivery, medications will be given to the baby intravenously to help reduce the fluids and swelling in the brain. If a birth injury such as a brain injury affects a baby as she grows, the baby may need medications to treat the side effects of brain damage or other types of injuries.
- Surgery. With severe birth injuries, surgery may be the most effective treatment option in order to correct a physical deformity or stop the bleeding in the brain. For example, an infant who suffered a birth-related head trauma (e.g., a skull fracture, broken blood vessels, large blood clots, etc.) may need a craniotomy, which is a surgery that removes a bone flap to allow doctors access to the brain. In severe cases, a decompressive craniotomy is performed, where a large hole is cut in the skull which allows the brain to breathe and reduces swelling. Sadly, surgery may not work in every case and injured children may have to live with lifelong disabilities and deformities.
No matter what type of treatment your child needs, it is sure to be expensive. Because birth injuries that need to be treated are a serious matter, the doctors and medical professionals who caused your son or daughter to suffer a birth injury need to be held accountable, which in turn will help you pay for the necessary treatments.
We would be honored to help you hold the wrongdoers responsible for the harm that your child and family had to endure. Even if you aren’t sure you would like to pursue a legal claim, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel following any type of birth injury. Please take advantage of our free consultation and get your questions answered either by calling us at (703) 721-4233 or requesting a copy of our book, Do I Have a Case? A Patient’s Guide to Virginia Medical Negligence Law.