Every parent hopes their newborn child will enter this world happy and
healthy. In most cases, this is exactly what occurs. In some rare instances, however,
newborn children may suffer from a birth injury. Following are ten of the most common birth injuries seen by medical lawyers
- It is not unusual for newborns to sometimes suffer broken bones during
the birthing process. Often the clavicle (collar bone) is damages. Usually
these broken bones heal on their own, but sometimes the child must be
immobilized for a period of time to facilitate healing.
- This birth injury includes the damage of facial nerves, which may resolve
over time or result in permanent damage. This results in a lack of control
over facial muscles in the newborn.
- This birth injury is often due to excessive pressure during the delivery
process. This pressure results in swelling and bruising of the scalp.
Caput succedaneum is usually not a life-threatening injury and clears
up on its own.
Brachial Plexus Injuries (BPI)
- This birth injury is caused by damage to the bundle of nerves that connect
the upper spine and neck, shoulders, arms, and hands. The severity of
this type of birth injury varies significantly. Children may suffer from
a stretching of the nerve (called neuropraxia) to a complete dislodging
of the nerve (called avulsion). Ten percent of BPI cases result in permanent
disability, which sometimes includes paralysis.
- This birth injury is a collection of blood below the skull bone and poses
little danger to a newborn. Cephalohematoma generally clears up on its own.
- This type of birth injury occurs when a newborn does not receive enough
oxygen during the birthing process. This may result from an oxygen deficiency
in the blood or insufficient blood flow to the fetus. The severity of
oxygen deprivation will determine the extent of harm to the newborn. In
milder cases, the child may experience labored breathing or pale complexion,
which will resolve naturally. In more extreme cases, the newborn may suffer
from permanent brain damage.
Intracranial / Subarachnoid Hemorrhage
- This type of birth injury results in bleeding in the skull, usually under
the innermost layers of the brain covering.
- Like other types of birth injury, subconjunctival hemorrhage results
from pressure during the birth process and is merely a bursting of blood
vessels in the eye.
Spinal Cord Damage
- Spinal cord injuries often result from traumatic nerve/cord damage, sometimes
from the use of forceps. Spinal cord injuries are often much more severe
than other types of birth injuries and may lead to paralysis and neurological problems.
- This type of birth injury is characterized by muscle spasms, weak muscles,
or a lack of development of motor skills, and may be associated with cognitive
disabilities or epilepsy. Cerebral palsy can result from trauma experienced
during the birthing process.
When Your Child Has Suffered a Birth Injury
As mentioned above, some birth injuries are minor and resolve on their
own. Other birth injuries, however, can lead to permanent harm to your
newborn. In some cases, these birth injuries are due to the negligent
or reckless actions of medical professionals. If your child has suffered
birth injury, speak with a skilled Atlanta birth injury lawyer right away. The experienced
personal injury attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C., have years of
experience helping families understand their legal rights and hold those
responsible for their harms accountable.
Contact us today.