Birth Injuries Common with Twins Multiple Births
When a woman is having multiple births, a birth injury can happen even more often than single births. Surprisingly, almost 60 percent of twins are delivered preterm, while 90 percent of triplets are preterm, according to the American Pregnancy Association. In some instances, delivering preterm babies can cause preventable injuries caused by medical negligence.
Types of Birth Injuries Associated with Multiple Births
Although twins often can be delivered vaginally with success, if there are signs of a difficult labor, it usually would become necessary to perform a cesarean section. This is almost always the case, however, when there are triplets or more.
What is considered a difficult labor and delivery can vary. One example is a prolonged delivery, which can occur when the babies are in an abnormal position (such as breech, when the head doesn’t come out first), or a small birth canal could be to blame.
Facial nerve injuries are one type of birth injury, which could include paralysis (no movement on side affected) or palsy (face appears lowered, irregular mouth movement). Difficult labor and deliveries are often associated with nerve injuries to the face.
Sometimes facial nerve injuries are a result of the difficult birthing process itself, such as the mother’s pelvis putting too much pressure on the baby’s face. But other times it can be caused by the use of instruments, such as forceps. This can happen when used incorrectly, such as applying too much pressure when the blade is placed on the baby’s face.
Brachial plexus injuries (nerve damage around shoulder) are another common type of birth injury with twins or multiples. Again, this can happen with a difficult birth.
As mentioned, an abnormal birth position could be an issue. So using force or putting too much pressure on the baby’s arms when pulling a baby out could cause damage. Multiples sometimes can make birth position difficult to predict. For instance, the first baby could come out normally, but the next could be positioned abnormally.
So although it could have started as a vaginal birth, a cesarean could become necessary. There is also the issue as to whether or not a C-section should have been given from the beginning, if there was any indication of potential complications.
Brachial plexus injuries can affect different parts of the arm. Damage could occur to the lower arm, upper arm or both. Keep in mind that a C-section doesn’t necessarily mean this type of injury can’t happen, but it is typically less risky.
Choosing the Right Doctor for Multiple Births
When it comes to labor and delivery of twins or multiples, it’s important to choose a skilled doctor who has experience delivering vaginally and through C-section.
Because there are other types of complications that can arise out of multiple births (such as prematurity), there must be medical staff readily available to take care of them afterward. Unfortunately, the wrong kind of care can increase the risk of injuries.
If there are concerns that a birth injury was preventable and might have been the cause of medical negligence, contact a birth injury attorney at The Becker Law Firm. A birth injury attorney may be able to determine if a claim can be filed for birth injuries for multiple births.