What Are Common Birth Injuries?


Many babies are delivered in the United States with few or no physical injuries. However, there is always a possibility that something can go wrong at the time of birth. It is estimated that 29 out of 1,000 births will result in some birth injury. Most of these cases are the result of improper handling or inadequate use of instruments by the doctors and medical staff.

If your child was injured as the result of the negligence of the medical team, then you may have a claim for medical malpractice.  Contact the team of Birth Injury Attorneys at Raynes & Lawn to help investigate your claim of medical malpractice and to advocate on your behalf to receive the compensation you and your family deserve.

What Is a Birth Injury?

A birth injury can occur before, during, or after the delivery of the child. This term is often used for any injury sustained by the infant during the birthing process. In the United States, about two percent of live births are affected by physical trauma not related to a congenital condition.

Birth injuries are common in larger than average-sized babies. These babies are often bigger than the mother’s pelvic area. The doctor needs the assistance of forceps, vacuums, or hands to ease the baby through the birth canal. These situations typically have a higher chance of neonatal injuries due to the mishandling or negligence of the medical staff or doctor.

How Does a Birth Injury Happen?

These injuries occur because there is an issue during or after the delivery. In some cases, there is a problem with the baby’s development. Some conditions throughout the pregnancy can also affect the health of the baby.

Injuries during the delivery are often unexpected, and they can dampen the joy of welcoming a newborn into the world. With some deliveries, the baby suffered an injury that could not be prevented. In other cases, the medical staff made the wrong decision that led to the baby’s injuries. If that is the issue with your child, then you need to seek the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney.

Birth Injuries to the Baby Due to Negligence

Substandard care can cause your child to experience injuries by the midwife, doctor, or another medical professional. These professionals may have overlooked an issue during pregnancy or did not act appropriately during the delivery. There are many reasons for birth injuries to your child. Some of these examples of medical negligence include:

  • Failing to monitor the baby’s heart rate
  • Failing to follow the correct protocols
  • Failing to identify that the child was in distress
  • Delaying treatment for delivery complications
  • Failing to differentiate between normal birth and an emergency

There are plenty of other reasons that can lead to negligent care of your baby during birth. Every medical professional should give your child a basic level of care during delivery. If those standards were not met, then you could have a claim for medical malpractice.

What Is the Most Common Type of Birth Injury?

Most birth injuries are small, and they usually heal within a few weeks. Bruises and small cuts are common as they are the result of birthing trauma. These minor injuries often do not lead to lasting issues for the baby. However, serious injuries can have devastating effects on the child and family. The risk of serious injury is relatively low, but when it occurs, these injuries can be difficult for the family.

Types and Causes of Birth Injury

In rare cases, there are substantial injuries to the baby during delivery. These injuries can lead to long-term effects for the child and cause a financial burden to the family. The most common types of birth injuries include:

Brain injuries: These injuries are the most serious to the child. In many cases, the injuries are permanent with lifelong mental and physical symptoms. Brain injuries can lead to developmental delays in many affected children. The most common brain injury is cerebral palsy, and it is a permanent condition that affects the baby’s cognitive functions and mobility. Brain injuries can be caused by many different factors, including a lack of oxygen (anoxia), decreased airflow to the brain (hypoxia), physical trauma to the head, and health issues in the mother.

Shoulder dystocia: This rare complication can also transpire during the delivery process, and it happens in one in every 150 births. Injuries can occur to the baby’s neck and lead to loss of movement in the arms (Erb’s palsy). Many of the injuries will heal in time, but in some cases, the injuries are permanent. Doctors must act quickly with shoulder dystocia. If not adequately delivered, shoulder dystocia can lead to fractures in the baby’s shoulders, neck, and arms. Shoulder dystocia is hard to prevent, but your caregiver should recognize the symptoms and take the necessary steps for safe delivery.

Brachial plexus injury: This injury occurs when the nerves are damaged in the baby’s neck during delivery. As a result, there is a loss of sensation in the arms. Nerve damage occurs as the nerves are stretched, separated, or compressed in the spinal cord. In the most severe cases, these injuries are permanent. Erb’s palsy is the most common type of brachial plexus injury, and it affects the upper arm and shoulders. These cases can resolve in a short time, but one percent of cases are permanent.

Birth Injury Claims and Compensation

For those parents whose babies have suffered a birth injury, you want to hold those accountable for their negligence actions. Some babies have sustained injuries due to substandard care. When that happens, you need to seek the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney. You can be compensated for medical costs and other damages due to your child’s injuries.

Has Your Child Incurred Birth Injuries? Call an Attorney Today!

It can be devastating to know your baby suffered a birth injury due to the negligence of a medical provider. The attorneys at Raynes & Lawn will work with a team of experts to investigate the circumstances surrounding your child’s birth injury and will advocate on your behalf to secure a successful resolution to your medical malpractice claim.

If your child has suffered a birth injury, you need to contact the legal team at Raynes & Lawn. Please take a few minutes to fill out the contact form for a consultation, or call our office at (800) 535-1797.

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