Birth Injury: Conditions and Causes

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Having you newborn sustain a birth injury is a terrible experience especially if it was preventable. While not all birth injuries stem from medical malpractice and negligence, unfortunately, a majority of injuries could have been prevented with diligent medical care. A recent study performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) comprised a list of the most common types of birth injuries due to medical negligence, including the following:

Brachial Palsy Injuries
The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves responsible for moving the arms and hands. Brachial palsy injuries, including Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy, occur when this bundle of nerves is injured. Brachial plexus injuries most commonly occur when an infant’s shoulders are trapped in the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. If a physician pulls too hard or incorrectly while attempting to deliver the baby, the brachial plexus can be damaged resulting in decreased movement in the arms and/or hands.

Facial Paralysis
If during delivery, an infants face receives excessive pressure the facial nerves could be damaged. This type of injury is commonly found when physicians use forceps or a vacuum extraction to complete the delivery. Symptoms range from the inability to close the eye to no movement at all on the affected side of the face. If the injury is not too severe, it can clear up within a few weeks. More serious cases may lead to permanent paralysis on the side of the affected side of the face.

Brain Injuries
Oxygen deprivation may happen from umbilical cord issues like a prolapsed core, when the baby is allowed to remain too long in the birth canal or when a physician fails to correctly monitor an infant immediately after the birth. Oxygen deprivation can lead to a host of problems, with the most severe being a brain injury. When an infant suffers from a brain injury, a host of medical disorders may follow, including cerebral palsy and chronic seizures. Even mild oxygen deprivation can lead to serious consequences, including intellectual disabilities and long-term physical problems.

Fractures
A clavicle fracture is the most common delivery fracture. This injury usually occurs when the delivering physician pulls the infant too hard while in the breech position. It can also happen when the shoulder is forcefully pulled during a prolonged, difficult delivery. The fracture may cause the inability to move the arm on the side of the injury. However, these types of injuries usually heal within 10 days.

Cephalohematoma
Cephalohematoma is marked by bleeding underneath the cranium. Most often it appears several hours after birth as a raised bump on the top of the infant’s head. The use of birth-assisting tools have been known to cause cephalohematoma. The bump usually clears up within a few months but the injury causes other risks including jaundice, anemia, hypotension, and in rare cases, meningitis.

Caput succedaneum
Caput succedaneum is swelling of the scalp in a newborn. It is most often brought on by pressure from the uterus or vaginal wall during a head-first (vertex) delivery. The likelihood of occurrence is increased by the improper use of a vacuum extraction tool. Swelling typically reduces within a days after the injury.

If you believe your child has sustained an injury due to medical malpractice, call the accident lawyers at Clekis Law Firm. There is no charge for your consultation  and we recover expenses only if we collect money for you on your claim.

By |2015-02-25T21:17:00+00:00February 25th, 2015|Legal Blog, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Birth Injury: Conditions and Causes