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What Are Common Birth Injuries?

Published: Apr 30, 2024 in Medical Malpractice
Our Belleville Birth Injury Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm Help Families Fight Back Against Negligent Medical Professionals

A child’s birth should be a wonderful moment in parents’ lives. Most deliveries occur without complications, but when errors are committed, what should be a joyous occasion becomes a traumatic event. Even worse, most birth injuries are preventable.

Birth injuries often occur due to medical negligence or medical errors from doctors, nurses, or other healthcare professionals. The parents and child must live with the devastating consequences when things go wrong.

Mistakes during pregnancy or delivery can lead to severe injuries and conditions that can affect a child’s life, sometimes permanently. Some of the most common include:

  • Erb’s palsy: This occurs when the brachial plexus, which controls nerve groups in the arms and hands, is injured.
  • Cerebral palsy: A lifelong group of disorders affecting movement and muscle control due to abnormal brain development or brain damage.
  • Shoulder dystocia: Shoulder dystocia occurs when an infant’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pelvis during birth.
  • Fractures: Clavicle or collarbone fractures can occur when difficulty arises while delivering the baby’s shoulder or in breech births.
  • Bell’s Palsy: Damage to an infant’s facial nerves from excessive pressure when passing through the birth canal.
  • Birth asphyxia: Lack of oxygen or blood flow during delivery, leading to permanent physical and mental disabilities.
  • Brain hemorrhage: Bleeding that reduces oxygen or creates extra pressure on the brain, killing brain cells and causing severe brain damage or fatality.
  • Intracranial hemorrhage: Bleeding in the skull, which creates an intracranial hemorrhage, leading to damage.
  • Neonatal stroke: Blood clots or bleeding on the brain disrupts blood flow to the brain or spinal cord.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Damage due to incorrect rotating, pulling, or overstretching of an infant during delivery.
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage: Broken blood vessels in the baby’s eyes.

What Are Common Causes of Birth Injuries?

Many birth injuries are preventable with modern medical screening and interventions, and physicians and medical staff adhere to appropriate standards of care. Some causes of birth injuries include:

  • Delayed C-section
  • Discharging mother and baby too early
  • Excessive force during delivery
  • Failure to detect and treat maternal infections
  • Failure to monitor the mother and the baby properly
  • Failure to supervise new medical staff
  • Improper delivery technique
  • Improper high-risk birth management
  • Malfunctioning medical devices
  • Medication errors or the administration of unsafe medications
  • Negligent postpartum care
  • Poorly sanitized medical instruments
  • Poor record-keeping
  • Risky medical tests
  • Unnecessary treatments

Many common medications have also been linked to birth injuries if used during pregnancy, such as antibiotics, anti-depressants, thyroid medication, anti-psychotics, and hormone replacements.

What Are Common Symptoms Associated With Birth Injuries?

The signs and symptoms of birth injuries can range from subtle to severe and obvious, such as excessive drooling or grunting or reduced heart rates and oxygen levels. Other signs of birth injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Breathing problems
  • Deafness or diminished hearing
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Dislocated shoulders
  • Excessive drooling
  • Facial paralysis
  • “Floppy” appearance
  • Fractured collarbone
  • Seizures
  • Severe breathing problems requiring a respirator
  • Skull fracture
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage (burst blood vessels in the eye)
  • Uncontrollable crying with an arched back
  • Unnatural eye movements, which could be a symptom of seizures
  • Vision loss
  • Weak or paralyzed limbs

Symptoms of neurological birth injuries are often delayed, such as mental and developmental delays that affect a child’s ability to master skills at expected milestones with growth.

Our Belleville Birth Injury Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm Help Families Fight Back Against Negligent Medical Professionals

Birth injuries can be devastating to whole families. Sadly, many birth injuries are preventable. If your baby was injured during birth, our compassionate and experienced Belleville birth injury lawyers at The Cates Law Firm can help you fight back and seek the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 618-277-3644 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients in St. Louis, Belleville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Granite City, Waterloo, Chester, Carbondale, St. Clair County, Madison County, Monroe County, Randolph County, and other regions throughout Southern Illinois.