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7 examples of common birth injuries

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2023 | Birth Injuries

Giving birth is a sensitive procedure, often leading to complications that could injure the newborn. As a parent, you would want to know every detail about your baby’s condition, especially if they sustained some injuries during birth.

Specific injuries are common during childbirth, including the following:

  • Brachial palsy: This condition happens when nerves serving the baby’s arms and hands suffer trauma. It can cause swelling and limited movement in the affected areas, lasting a few months. The trauma can sometimes lead to permanent nerve damage, requiring further medical care and management.
  • Bruising caused by forceps: Doctors usually use forceps to help deliver babies. Using them can cause bruising or marks on the newborn’s head or face. These bruises often heal over time, but severe cases may require medical treatments.
  • Caput succedaneum: This condition occurs when the baby’s scalp swells due to the force of passing through the birth canal. This injury is typically mild and resolves within days after birth.
  • Cephalohematoma: It occurs when the baby bleeds between the skull and its covering, appearing as a lump on the head hours after birth. The baby’s body usually reabsorbs this blood, which takes a few weeks to three months.
  • Facial paralysis: It happens if the baby’s facial nerves sustain damage during birth. The infant might need surgery if it does not resolve naturally.
  • Fractures: Babies can suffer fractures near their collarbones due to the force of labor. It might seem severe but often heals quickly, requiring bandaging or splinting if painful.
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage: This type of bleeding happens when the eyes’ blood vessels receive damage. These cases are often mild and rarely require treatment to heal.

Considering the baby’s condition, these injuries might require medical intervention for recovery. Other times, the birth injuries could be severe and cause long-term effects on the child’s life, such as cerebral palsy.

Knowing what caused the injury

Some birth injuries are unavoidable, but it is vital to know what causes them. If the health care provider fails to maintain a standard duty of care, they might be liable for the baby’s health problems or injuries. Knowing the cause can help you decide whether to file a claim for the incident.