An Overview of Birth Trauma Injuries in the United States

The United States has one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the world. Still, many parents continue to face the prospect of dealing with birth trauma injuries which occur before, during, and shortly after the delivery of their child.

Statistics show that in the United States, six to eight out of every 1,000 babies which are born alive are subject to birth trauma injuries. These finding also indicate that male babies are more likely to suffer birth trauma than female babies. In addition, birth trauma injuries are more likely to occur in non-profit hospitals, as opposed to for-profit hospitals. Also, the rates of birth trauma injuries are higher in large hospitals, with more than 300 beds, as compared to small hospitals, with less than 100 beds.


Birth trauma injuries include a wide variety of conditions, ranging from minor and temporary to serious and irreversible. The most common birth trauma injuries are:

  • Small Scratches and Bruises;
  • Fractures;
  • Group B Strep and other infections;
  • Temporary Paralysis;
  • Erb’s Palsy (inability to sense or move hands or arms);
  • Brachial Plexus Palsy (paralysis of the arm);
  • Facial Paralysis;
  • Cerebral Palsy (permanent impairment of speech, movement, development, and coordination);
  • Brain Damage; and
  • Spinal Cord Damage.


Most commonly, birth trauma injuries occur due to medical negligence and malpractice during the process of a difficult delivery. A delivery may be at high risk for birth trauma injuries when:

  • The fetus is too large;
  • The fetus is premature;
  • The birth canal is too small;
  • The fetus is in an abnormal position, or breached; or
  • The labor is prolonged.

The primary causes of birth trauma injuries during high risk deliveries are:

  • Selecting the wrong delivery method;
  • Failing to treat lack of oxygen, infections, internal bleeding, and other medical issues in a timely manner; and
  • Providing the mother or child with the wrong type of medication or dosage.


When a birth trauma injury occurs, the child often requires ongoing medical treatment and therapy. The medical attention that is required after a birth trauma injury is costly and time consuming. This can place a financial and emotional strain on the child’s parents or guardians.

If you child has suffered a birth trauma injury, it is important that you contact an attorney immediately. An attorney will be able to review the circumstances of the mother’s medical treatment during pregnancy and delivery to determine whether medical negligence or malpractice occurred.

If your child’s birth trauma injury is the result of medical negligence or malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation. This compensation includes the cost of your medical expenses, lost wages as well as, you and your child’s emotional pain and suffering. In addition, you may seek compensation for you and your child’s future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses associated with the birth trauma injury.