Birth Injuries In Newborns

To aspiring parents, the news of carrying a child brings a lot of joy. Unfortunately, the joy of becoming a parent can be cut short due to birth injuries, some of which can result in disabilities that can last a lifetime. Other injuries result in nothing major and require little or no medical attention. 

There is no way to eliminate the possibility of an injury completely, but the actions or the inaction of health practitioners can increase the chances of an injury. 

Suppose you believe that your newborn has suffered injuries due to negligence from health care providers where your baby was delivered. In that case, a birth injury lawyer may be able to help you explore the possibilities of filing medical malpractice lawsuits.

Brachial Palsy and Facial Paralysis

Identifying injuries is the first step toward getting help for your newborn and mitigating further damages. One of the most prevalent birth injuries is brachial palsy. This injury often occurs when newborns have problems getting their shoulders through the birth canal, also referred to as shoulder dystocia. As a result, the arm nerves are destroyed, resulting in the paralysis of the arm. Under normal circumstances, arm activity should resume in a few months. However, if the nerves get torn, the paralysis can be permanent.

Facial paralysis is also relatively common in newborns. It occurs when pressure is exerted on a child’s face during labor, resulting in facial nerve damage. This injury is visible when newborns cry, but one side of their face can’t move, or the baby cannot close one eye. Like brachial palsy, the injuries resolve after a few weeks. However, if the injuries resulted in a complete severing of the nerves, surgery may be the only way of correcting the damage. 

Brain Injuries and Fractures

Brain injuries are by far the worst of all newborn injuries. Some brain injuries result from trauma associated with the head moving down the birth canal or using instruments to aid in delivery. 

Besides trauma, the other most common cause of brain injuries is the loss of oxygen to the brain. While some injuries resulting from oxygen deprivation may resolve after some time, many last a lifetime and result in conditions such as cerebral palsy.

Fractures, though not common, can also occur at birth and primarily affect the skull and the shoulders. Fortunately, fractures in newborns heal very quickly and may not need much medical attention unless it results in internal injuries.

Risk Factors

Common injury risk factors include the newborn’s weight, abnormal fetal position, premature birth, and the mother’s pelvic shape and size. While these factors may not be under the delivery practitioner’s control, due diligence demands identifying the problems before time and identifying the best possible delivery options to minimize the chances of having the baby or mother injured. Fortunately, there is technology to assist doctors in avoiding such eventualities, and it is why newborn injuries have decreased on a massive scale in the last two decades.

“Never assume your newborn’s injuries just happened; someone may have been negligent. You may need to explore that possibility,” says medical malpractice lawyer Russ Berkowitz. Proving negligence in a medical malpractice claim requires a lot. But when done correctly, a successful claim can help parents recover damages, such as the high cost of treatment.


Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar is a project manager at Tridindia with more than nine years of commendable experience in writing about LMS, translation, and IT. His unmatched talent and passion for digital marketing gave him the opportunity to work as a multi-tasking project manager at TridIndia’s sister company, Link Building Corp. Today, he contributes to the world by imparting knowledge on SEO, link building and internet marketing etc., that helps business owners grow their online business.