3 Common Causes of Birth Injuries


Birth trauma occurs to 29 out of 1,000 babies in the United States. If your baby has been injured during birth, this may be the fault of medical staff and/or doctors. The most common birth injuries, include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Damage to the brachial plexus
  • Lack of oxygen
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Erb's palsy
  • Internal bleeding

Quick treatment can correct many injuries during birth, but "some may require ongoing medical care that lasts for the long term," states Edwards & Patterson Law.

The cause of a birth injury is important to your case. Knowing the most common causes of these birth injuries can help you build a defense against the medical staff or ensure your baby is cared for properly. The most common causes of birth injuries, include:

1.Large Babies - A baby that is too large can cause a higher risk of birth injuries. Babies that fall into this category are often 8 pounds, 13 ounces or larger in size.
2.Prolonged Labor - A mother who has been in labor for a long period of time may give birth to a child that is injured during the birthing process.

3.Breeching - A breeched baby is a baby that comes out buttocks first rather than head first. This should be noted by the doctor, and a C-section may be required if the baby cannot be birthed without injury.

Negligence can also occur during the pregnancy and labor process. Your doctor or medical staff should recognize complications as they present themselves. Medical staff should help to minimize the risk of injuries to the baby during the labor and birthing process.

This leads to negligence, or the fourth cause of birth injuries. Negligence can be caused by:

  • Failing to act promptly or prepare for high-risk deliveries.
  • Failing to treat and recognize delivery problems.
  • Failure to realize umbilical cord problems.
  • Failure to order a C-section.
  • Failure to react to fetal distress.
  • Errors when administering medications.
  • Incorrectly using vacuum extractors or forceps during delivery.

If the medical staff did everything properly, you won't have a lawsuit to file. There needs to be some form of negligence for you to be able to pursue charges against the medical staff, doctor or hospital.

When injuries occur, they can also include serious injuries, which include:

  • Fractured Bones. The National Institute for Health notes that a complicated delivery can lead to fractured collar bones (most common) among other fractured bones.
  • Caput Succedaneum. An injury that causes swelling to the scalp. This injury is caused by excessive pressure during delivery. This condition often heals on its own.
  • BPI. BPI is a very serious complication which is caused by damage to a bundle of nerves in the upper spine. This nerve damage can be minor and resolve on its own, or the damage can be lifelong.
  • Perinatal Asphyxia. A lack of oxygen in the baby's blood can cause perinatal asphyxia. This condition can cause coma, shock and seizures. A scary situation, this condition can cause permanent damage.

There are also risks of facial paralysis, subconjunctival hemorrhage, intracranial hemorrhage, spinal cord injuries and cerebral palsy.

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