Month: February 2020

Having a baby is a miraculous process, but it is also one that can be full of complications and, in some cases, lead to poor health outcomes for both the mother and the baby. One question that we often hear is in regards to birth defects and birth injuries. Many parents wonder what the connection between birth injuries and birth defects is, and whether or not the two complications are independent and distinct from one another. Here is an overview of what you should know:

Birth Defects and Birth Injuries: Definitions

Birth injuries and birth defects are often used to describe the same thing, but the terms actually apply to two distinct conditions. Birth injuries, as explained by Stanford Children’s Health, are injuries suffered by a child as a result of being born or as a result of a complication during the birthing process. For example, a bone fracture injury and a brachial plexus injury are both two types of examples of birth injuries that are sustained during the birthing process.

Birth defects, on the other hand, refer to problems that happen while the baby is developing. Unlike acute trauma–such as pulling on a baby’s arm to free the infant from the birth canal–birth injuries can be caused by a variety of factors.

Risk Factors for Birth Defects and Birth Injuries

Birth defects can be caused by a number of different factors. These factors might include:

  • Genetics, such as a child being passed along a gene that causes some sort of birth defect;
  • Chromosomal problems, such as an extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome;
  • A lack of nutrients during pregnancy, such as enough folic acid; and
  • Infections during pregnancy, such as contracting the Zika virus.

There are also some behaviors that a mother can engage in during the pregnancy that can contribute to the risk of a birth defect, such as smoking while pregnant, drinking alcohol while pregnant, or using certain medications. Being over the age of 34 at the time of a child’s birth also increases the risk of birth defects.

Birth injuries are also associated with certain risk factors. For example, certain health conditions of the mother can increase the risk of birth injury. An above-average weight of the newborn can also increase the risk of injury.

Often, there is nothing that can be done to prevent birth defects; however, birth injuries often are preventable with careful monitoring of mother and baby, ensuring that emergency c-sections are performed if necessary, and using the proper degree of care when delivering a baby. Many birth injuries are the result of the improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors during pregnancy.

Talk to Your Doctor

 If you are pregnant, the best thing that you can do is to have an honest conversation with your doctor about your medical history, your lifestyle, and tips for a healthy pregnancy. Be sure to create a plan with your doctor concerning your delivery, and seek medical care if anything feels off. The more informed you are, the more likely you are to have a positive experience. If you feel that you need to make a claim, speak with an experienced birth injury attorney.

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When a person is pregnant, the most important thing to that person is giving birth to a baby that is healthy. Which is why the idea of premature birth, where a baby is delivered before the 37th week of pregnancy, can be scary. Newborns that are born prematurely may be at an increased risk of certain health complications and birth injuries

What is a Premature Birth?

According to The Mayo Clinic, a premature birth is a birth that occurs before the start of the 37th week of pregnancy. The relatively seriousness of a premature birth typically depends on how early the baby is born. In most cases, the earlier that a baby is born, the greater the risk of injuries and health complications for the baby. There are four different classifications for preterm babies:

  • Born at or before 25 weeks of pregnancy – Extremely preterm
  • Born before 32 weeks of pregnancy – Very preterm
  • Born between 32 and 34 weeks of pregnancy – Moderately preterm
  • Born between 34 and 36 weeks of pregnancy – Late preterm

What Causes Premature Birth?

There are a number of risk factors that increase the risk for a premature birth. These risk factors include smoking during pregnancy, having twins, being of an unhealthy weight during or before the pregnancy, experiencing a physical trauma, a history of miscarriages, stressful life events, and certain health complications of the mother.

Birth Injuries and Complications for Premature Newborns

When a baby is born before they are fully developed, they may be at a greater risk of injury and health complications. Some of the most common complications of premature birth include breathing problems, as the newborn’s lungs and heart may not be fully developed; heart problems, including low blood pressure and a heart defect that can lead to heart failure in the most serious of cases; brain problems, including brain hemorrhaging; blood problems, including anemia and jaundice; immune system problems, which can lead to a higher risk of infection; gastrointestinal problems; and more. There can also be a number of long-term problems associated with premature birth, such as cerebral palsy, cognitive disabilities, dental problems, vision problems, chronic health issues, and even behavioral and psychological complications.

Steps for a Healthy and Safe Pregnancy and Delivery

Having a baby that is at risk of complications because of premature birth is something that no parent wants to face. In order to reduce the risk of complication, it is important to have an honest conversation with your doctor about your health history and any lifestyle behaviors you maintain that could increase your risk. If you are at a high risk of preterm birth, there are certain interventions that can be taken to prevent premature birth.

As you work with your doctor, be sure to provide honest information and ask a lot of questions. Doctors sometimes make mistakes, and being involved and active in the process can help to keep you and your baby safe. If you suspect your doctor made a mistake, discuss your rights in filing a claim with an experienced birth injury attorney.

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As much as you take precautions, accidents are sometimes inevitable. At such times, it is common for people to be nervous and not know what to do.

In addition to contacting a car accident lawyer, some tips can help you get around this situation. Take note!

Withdrawal of Vehicles

The first action is simply to move vehicles off the road, so as not to obstruct it or cause other accidents. But this should only be done immediately in cases of light collisions, without fatalities.

Rescue of Injured People

If there are victims, the procedure needs to be more careful. Call the rescue service, providing the necessary information for the call. Then, mark the location with the warning light and the triangle appropriately.

While waiting for assistance, do not move the victims. As much as the injuries are minor, it can worsen any internal injuries or fractures. What you can do is talk to people to check their state of consciousness.

Report of Occurrence

The police report is only mandatory if the accident involves victims or causes damage to public property. In other cases, it is only done if the parties prefer. In these situations, the document can even be prepared over the internet.

It is worth mentioning that the making of a police report does not indicate the existence of a crime or points to a guilty party. It serves only to document what happened.

Inform your Insurance Company

Even if neither of the parties involved immediately takes responsibility for the accident, both must contact the insurance company to report the claim. Subsequently, the company will request documents and evidence to make the indemnity payment, following the policy. The deadline for this is 30 days.

Note that car insurance is not a luxury, but a necessity, especially in situations like these. Every time you use your vehicle, you are vulnerable to risks that can compromise your pocket and your physical integrity.

Unforeseen events such as collisions, thefts, being run over and other damages are likely to happen and, therefore, it is more than important to be prepared. By having auto insurance, you guarantee that, in case something happens to you or other people, there will be no material or financial losses.

Also, insurance offers other benefits, such as 24-hour assistance, mechanical assistance, locksmith, electrician and tow truck service. Although the idea is to never need the activation of insurance, knowing that the car has this security guarantees you more peace of mind.

Contact Your Attorney

Knowing good practices to prevent the main types of accidents is the first step to improve traffic statistics. And when it is not possible to avoid occurrences, it is important to remain calm and know who to count on.

Informing your lawyer is as important as informing your insurance company. They help take care of your case. If you’ve been injured in an accident and need help filing a claim, you can get a Brooklyn car accident lawyer.

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