What Are the Most Common Birth Injuries?

It’s every parent’s nightmare. They hope that when they go to the delivery room, they will leave with a healthy baby boy or girl. When they’re told their child has a birth injury, their lives are forever changed. A birth injury often means their child will not lead a normal life. A birth injury can also mean mountains of medical bills to help the child function and develop.

Doctors, nurses, and others involved in the delivery of a child are required to anticipate the various things that can go wrong during a delivery and respond to them accurately and quickly. When health providers fail to protect your child from preventable birth injuries, they can be held liable for their medical malpractice. Once they have been found liable, they can be required to pay for all your child’s medical bills, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and any other related damages.

Some of the birth injuries that should be anticipated and are often preventable include the following:

  • Cerebral palsy. This disorder usually occurs because the baby doesn’t get enough oxygen during the delivery. It can also be caused by incompatible blood types, failure to respond to infections, and other delivery problems. Cerebral palsy often causes severe mobility problems that make it difficult for your child to walk. Cerebral palsy can also cause intellectual disabilities.
  • Brachial plexus injury and Erb’s palsy. These birth injuries happen when the fetus’s nerve network in the neck is damaged. Erb’s palsy is due to brachial plexus. It causes the newborn to have problems with their growth, strength, and use of their hands, wrists, and arms. Brachial plexus can result in the child not being able to rotate or move his/her arm. These injuries are often caused by pulling on the baby’s arms during the delivery.
  • Shoulder dystocia. This injury happens when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck in the mother’s pelvis during the delivery. This emergency condition can cause brachial plexus or a fracture of the clavicle. The mother may also develop complications.
  • Perinatal Asphyxia. This injury happens when the baby doesn’t get enough oxygen. Oxygen deficiency in the blood can cause shock, seizures, and a discolored complexion. It can occur if the umbilical cord becomes twisted.
  • Cephalohematoma. Cephalohematoma is due to the cranium bleeding. The cranium helps to protect the skull. It can lead to anemia and jaundice.

Other birth injuries that may occur include:

  • Facial paralysis
  • Caput succedaneum – usually due to incorrect usage of vacuum extraction tools
  • Hemorrhaging of the eyes – called subconjunctival hemorrhage
  • Injuries to the spinal cord – possibly due to using forceps improperly
  • Bone and skull fractures

Signs and symptoms of birth injuries

Some injuries are detectable as soon as the baby is born. Other injuries may take time to appear. Some symptoms parents may observe in their children that are due to birth injuries include:

  • Lack of muscle control
  • Not being responsive
  • Delays in development
  • Sleep disorders
  • Crying more than usual for a baby
  • Not eating/feeding well

In most cases, the delivery room doctor is liable. In some cases, the hospital, a midwife, or other health providers may also be liable.

The experienced Little Rock birth injury lawyers at Bailey & Greer, PLLC, have a strong history of success in birth injury cases. In one case, we negotiated a $12 million settlement for a client whose newborn suffered severe brain damage and cerebral palsy due to the failure of nurses at a hospital to inform the attending physician the newborn’s heart rate was deteriorating. Call us at 501-213-1512 or complete our contact form to discuss any birth injury concerns.

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