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10 Types of Birth Injuries

Colburn Law

10 Types of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries happen every year in labor and delivery units across the United States, resulting in severe harm and lasting complications. Below are some of the most common types of birth injuries caused by medical malpractice, or a physician’s failure to uphold the medical standard of care.

#1: Oxygen Deprivation

Medical professionals have to closely monitor the fetus’s heart rate to ensure that the baby is receiving adequate oxygen. If a baby suffers from oxygen deprivation, he or she can experience permanent brain damage. As a result, the infant can suffer lasting complications like intellectual disabilities, chronic seizures, and cerebral palsy.

#2: Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a developmental disability that is characterized by a lack of motor skills, muscle weakness, and muscle spasms. Children with cerebral palsy often require lifelong medical treatment. This condition can lead to a host of health issues like speech problems, vision and hearing problems, and learning difficulties.

#3: Brachial Plexus Injuries

Brachial plexus nerves extend from the upper spine to the neck, shoulder, arms, and hands. When these nerves are twisted or torn, temporary or permanent nerve damage and paralysis may occur. Brachial plexus injuries are often caused by excessive force and dangerous birthing tools like forceps.

#4: Hemorrhages

Uncontrollable bleeding can occur underneath a baby’s skull due to excessive force during labor and delivery, leading to subarachnoid or intracranial hemorrhage. A baby may also suffer a subconjunctival hemorrhage, which happens when a blood vessel bursts in the eye due to pressure variations during birth.

#5: Caput Succedaneum

A baby’s scalp can suffer extreme pressure during delivery. As a result, the child can develop caput succedaneum, a condition characterized by swelling of the scalp, bruising, and discoloration. 

#6: Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord transmits messages from the brain to the rest of the body. If the spinal cord is injured during labor and delivery, the child can suffer from permanent paralysis as well as neurological problems. 

#7: Perinatal Asphyxia

Perinatal asphyxia is a condition that occurs when a baby fails to get sufficient oxygen. If a baby’s blood supply is cut off or the blood is oxygen deficient, perinatal asphyxia may arise. Medical staff must closely monitor these oxygen levels and act quickly if complications arise.

#8: Broken Collarbones

A baby’s collarbones can fracture and break while he or she is being removed from the birth canal. These fractures typically heal on their own but can be extremely painful. Excessive force and the use of forceps or vacuums may lead to this condition.

#9: Cephalohematoma

Cephalohematoma is a condition caused by bleeding under the cranial bone, often as a result of forceps. Your child may have a raised bump on his or her head after birth. This condition usually heals on its own but may raise the risk of complications like jaundice or anemia.

#10: Facial Paralysis

A baby’s face can suffer from too much pressure during delivery, resulting in nerve damage and fractures. As a result, the infant can experience temporary or permanent paralysis. The child may be unable to move the affected area, leading to significant discomfort.

Contact a Washington Birth Injury Attorney Today

Birth injuries are often caused by medical malpractice. If your child was injured before, during, or after delivery, your family deserves justice. 

Filing a birth injury lawsuit can help you hold the at-fault provider accountable. Contact a Washington birth injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and plan your next steps.