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The Impact Infections Can Have on a Pregnancy

Published on Jun 20, 2017 at 6:22 pm in Birth Injury.

Infections can be especially dangerous to pregnant women and their unborn child if they are not quickly diagnosed and treated. Pregnancy can make infections more severe, which makes it all the more pressing to start treatment as soon as possible. Even mild infections can cause serious complications. Learn more about the impact infections can have on pregnancy.

Why Are Pregnant Women at a Higher Risk of Infection?

Pregnancy affects a woman’s entire body. Changes in hormone levels and immune system function can cause women to be more vulnerable to infection. Labor and delivery are especially susceptible times for infection.

Women often experience changes in immunity with pregnancy to protect both the mother and the baby. Some parts of your immune system may be suppressed while others are enhanced. The immune system works twice as hard to protect the mother and the baby. These changes can leave women open to infection. Other functions in the body change as well, which can affect the mother’s ability to fight off infection. Hormonal and physical changes can contribute to urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and lung infections. A pregnant woman’s body may be more predisposed to certain kinds of infections thanks to these changes.

What Causes Seizures in Newborns?

Published on Jun 6, 2017 at 6:26 pm in Birth Injury.

A seizure is defined as abnormal electrical discharges in the brain, which cause symptoms such as convulsions, altered consciousness, and brain disturbances. Seizures in infants can indicate neonatal brain damage has occurred. Often, they are the first sign of a birth injury. Frequently, seizures develop in babies who were deprived of oxygen during the delivery process. Many seizure-causing injuries occur near or during delivery.

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

HIE is the most common cause of neonatal seizures. This brain injury is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain during birth. This deprivation can occur from decreased oxygen in the baby’s blood (hypxemia/hypoxia) or decreased blood flow to the baby’s brain (ischemia).

There are a number of conditions that can cause HIE, including:

  • Untreated maternal high blood pressure
  • Umbilical cord injuries, such as the cord becoming wrapped around the baby’s neck (nuchal cord), umbilical cord prolapse, or cord compression.
  • Uterine or placental complications, such as placenta previa, placental abruption, placental insufficiency, or ruptured uterus.
  • Tachysystole (excessive uterine contractions)
  • Complications due to the baby’s size or position
  • Brain trauma or hemorrhages in the baby’s brain
  • Improper use of delivery instruments, such as a vacuum extractor
  • Delayed delivery
  • Delayed emergency C-Section
  • Prolonged second stage of labor
  • Infection
  • Kernicterus, a difficulty getting rid of the red blood cell byproduct, bilirubin.

These conditions all can put the baby at risk, though many can be diagnosed early and treated. Careful monitoring of the mother and infant for distress during the delivery process can reduce the chances of many of these injuries.

American Mothers In More Danger of Maternal Complications Than Moms Elsewhere

Published on May 18, 2017 at 6:28 pm in Birth Injury.

Despite our years of technological advancement and study of the human anatomy, childbirth is still considered extremely dangerous in the United States. According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 600 American women lose their lives due to complications that arise either during pregnancy or the actual process of delivery. By other estimates, nearly 60,000+ other women will experience severe health complications during childbirth that require hospitalization or other treatment methods to correct.

In comparison to other countries in the developed world, the U.S. is one of the worst when it comes to medical safety for pregnant women and new mothers. In fact, the mortality rate related to pregnancy deaths in America is three times higher than that in Canada, and six times higher than that in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. While so many other countries are seeing these rates drop over time, it has actually spiked in America since 2000. It all begs the question, “What is going on with maternal care in America?”

Better Care Would Prevent More Deaths

It is impossible to pass up the high pregnancy and childbirth mortality rate in the United States to poor luck, bad health, or simply connected to the country having a high population when the CDC itself has stated that many of the deaths should be entirely preventable. Indeed, it believes around 60% of childbirth and pregnancy deaths would not happen if hospitals maintained better conditions, doctors received thorough training, and healthcare in the country overall was improved. In an almost contradictory way, the CDC cites evidence of extremely low infant mortality rates in the country, improved over decades of care and research, as the same evidence that shows pregnant women and new mothers could and should be getting better care.

Many pregnancy-related deaths are linked to:

  • Blood clots
  • Hemorrhages
  • Heart failure
  • Preeclampsia

While all of these conditions are severe, none should be so dangerous that mortality rates noticeably rise. With preparation in the delivery room and attentive obstetrician care, many of the worst complications should be avoidable, or at least predictable enough to stem.

Seeking Compensation for Infant Intracranial Hemorrhages

Published on Feb 15, 2016 at 8:16 pm in Birth Injury.

One of the most common ways for a child to be injured during birth is by an intracranial hemorrhage, or “brain bleed.” This type of trauma can occur during labor and delivery complications, often caused by the negligence of doctors or nurses during or near the time of birth. While some brain bleeds are minor and heal in a short amount of time, others can be very serious and result in permanent brain damage or other lifelong disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, seizures, or developmental and intellectual disabilities.

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