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Nerve Damage

What is NERVE Damage?

During childbirth, nerves can be overstretched, damaged, and in extreme cases, ripped or torn in both baby and mother. It is important to remember that although focus is on the infant, many times mothers are susceptible to birth injuries as well. Medical staff should be encouraged to assess a mother for any possible injuries during the postnatal period. 

Potential birth injury to an infant can occur during the intense vaginal birthing process. Nerve damage is possible if a child is birthed with their head turned or in another abnormal position. In some situations, these injuries may resolve themselves in a few weeks, in other cases, the infant may need therapy or surgery to correct the damage.

Nerve damage can occur in 1-in-100 women following childbirth. Single nerve damage may occur from the epidural injection, a lengthy childbirth, or excessive stretching of tissue. This may result in a numb area of skin on the leg or limited muscle weakness. In most cases, these injuries are temporary and will resolve themselves within a few weeks. In rare cases the nerve damage can be permanent. 

If you believe you or your child has suffered from nerve damage as a result of a birth injury, you should speak to a lawyer to understand if you are entitled to any compensation to assist you or your child’s current and future quality of life.

Types of Nerve Damage from Birth Injury

There are various types of nerve damage that results from trauma during childbirth. 

Pelvic and Pudendal Nerves

Compression or excessive stretching can cause incontinence in the mother.

Femoral Nerves

Damage can cause a mother to suffer from weakness or numbness in the legs which makes it difficult to feel or move them in the postnatal period.

Facial Nerve

Symptoms of this type of injury include asymmetrical movements in the face, one side of the mouth being drawn toward the other side, smoother skin on the paralyzed side, and general lack of movement and expression on the affected side of the face.

Laryngeal Nerve

Damage may occur when an infant's head is turned to the side during childbirth. A birth injury could affect a child’s ability to breathe and swallow. It can also cause paralysis of the vocal cords.

Spinal Cord

A rare complication of traumatic childbirth, a spinal cord injury may be prolonged or permanent and leave a child with lifelong paralysis in a part of the body.

Are You Or Your Baby Suffering from Nerve Injuries?

With the inability to communicate, it may be very difficult for an infant to convey an injury. The following include but are not limited to symptoms of an adult or infant suffering from birth injury nerve damage.

In 2006, it was estimated that over 157,000 birth injuries could have been avoided to both mother and infant.

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