Birth injuries are those your child may suffer shortly before, during, and right after the birthing process, whether your child was delivered via vaginal birth or cesarean section (C-section). Many common birth injuries occur during difficult births and do not lead to long-term conditions. However, your infant may also suffer injuries due to medical negligence. If a careless physician or nurse causes your child harm, it could be serious and result in a physical or cognitive disability.
If your child has been diagnosed with a serious birth injury that you believe is the result of medical malpractice, call Paul Padda Law to speak with a birth injury lawyer. You can reach us through our online contact form or by calling (702) 366-1888 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Birth Injury Statistics
For every 9,714 infants born in the U.S., at least one will have a birth injury, according to the Birth Injury Guide, a birth injury advocacy group. On average, each year about 28,000 birth injuries are reported in the U.S., with rural births experiencing a far greater likelihood of infant injuries than urban births.
10 of the Most Common Birth Injuries in the U.S.
Some of the most common birth injuries include:
- Brachial Plexus Palsy: There is a group of nerves that connect an infant’s arms and hands to the spinal cord called the brachial plexus. An injury to this bundle of nerves can impact the infant’s movement and sensation in one or both arms and hands. If the nerve suffers minor damage, it may heal in time. However, torn nerves may require surgery to repair. There also is a chance the child suffers permanent paralysis or reduced mobility or sensation in an arm and hand.
- Bell’s Palsy: If a baby’s facial nerve is damaged or severed during birth, this can cause facial paralysis one or both sides of the infant’s face. If the nerve suffers only minor damage, it can improve over time without treatment. However, nerve damage can range in severity. If the facial nerve is torn, the child may require surgery to restore as much function to the area as possible.
- Broken Bones: An infant may suffer a broken bone during the birthing process, particularly if a physician or nurse improperly uses a birth-assisting tool. Broken collarbones are one of the most common birth-related fractures.
- Caput Succedaneum: Following long and difficult births, or after the use of vacuum extraction, the baby may experience scalp swelling and bruising. This injury is not life-threatening and typically corrects itself in a few days. This condition is often linked to jaundice, which when treated, does not lead to any lasting harm. However, undiagnosed and untreated jaundice can lead to additional medical issues.
- Intracranial Hemorrhage (Brain Bleed): Due to oxygen deprivation, trauma, or negligence during delivery, your infant may suffer bleeding within the skull or brain. This injury can be severe and is typically treated with brain surgery to stop the bleeding. Depending on the severity of the hemorrhage and how quickly it is diagnosed and treated, your child may make a full recovery or could have lasting side effects.
- Cephalohematoma: In the hours after delivery, a bump on the infant’s skull may form. This may be an accumulation of blood below the periosteum, which is the protective membrane covering the skull. This typically corrects itself over a few weeks or months. However, it can be linked to jaundice, which requires medical intervention to prevent further harm.
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: The small blood vessels in one or both of the infant’s eyes may break. This causes a red band around the iris. It can look concerning, but it does not cause vision damage, and it should resolve itself in a few days.
- Perinatal Asphyxia: During the birth process, an infant can be deprived of oxygen. If the child’s brain and organs do not receive enough blood flow and oxygen for too long, the child can suffer permanent injuries, including brain damage. Babies can recover fully from mild or moderate asphyxia. However, complete or significant oxygen deprivation for several minutes can lead to severe and permanent disabilities.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Your child’s spinal cord could suffer a complete or incomplete injury during birth, which would cause reduced mobility and sensation below the injury site or full paralysis. Spinal cord injuries are also associated with many other medical consequences, including incontinence, blood circulation problems, breathing difficulties, and increased risk of infection and illness.
- Cerebral Palsy: This is a medical condition that impacts a person’s movement, muscle tone, and overall physical abilities. Your child may exhibit rigid or floppy limbs or torso, abnormal posture, involuntary movements, abnormal reflexes, and/or unstable walking or difficulty walking. These muscle issues can impact a child’s eye sight and ability to swallow and speak. This condition is caused by damage to the developing brain, which includes oxygen deprivation, severe brain bleeds, sudden traumas, and infections.
Was Your Doctor At Fault for a Birth Injury?
If your child is suffering from a long-term or permanent birth injury, talk with a birth injury attorney at Paul Padda Law as soon as possible. By working with an experienced lawyer, you can determine if your child’s injury was a result of medical negligence. If so, we can guide you through a medical malpractice claim and fight for you to receive full and fair compensation for child’s injury.