Both mothers and babies can sustain injuries during delivery and it’s not as uncommon as you might think. Historical data shows that around 157,000 potential avoidable birth injuries occurred in the U.S. in just one year, which highlights how many families are affected by labor-induced harm. To find out more, take a look at these four most common birth injuries and find out what they could mean for your family:
1. Bruising and Marks on Baby’s Head
If forceps are used during the delivery, it’s not unusual for the baby to sustain bruising or marks to their head. Often, this is apparent immediately after labor, although it can take minutes or hours for bruises to appear. Although new parents are sometimes alarmed by the presence of bruising, this is actually a relatively common birth injury. In most instances, the bruises or marks will fade naturally and will cause no long-term harm to the child.
2. Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus refers to a set of nerves that run through the neck and shoulders. If a baby’s neck is stretched during delivery, these nerves can be damaged. Depending on the severity of the injury, damage to the brachial plexus can cause loss of sensation or paralysis in the upper arm or forearm.
Relatively minor brachial plexus birth injuries typically resolve within three months and don’t require any form of treatment. In more serious cases, physical therapy or surgery can be to repair the damage to the affected nerves.
3. Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can occur during birth if a baby is deprived of oxygen during the labor. One type of brain injury that can arise due to a lack of oxygen during delivery is cerebral palsy. This is a group of disorders that affect mobility, although it can vary in terms of severity. A baby born with severe cerebral palsy may require round-the-clock care, for example, while a child born with relatively mild cerebral palsy might experience some muscle stiffness or mobility issues.
4. Broken Bones and Fractures
A broken bone or fracture during delivery is relatively rare but, when it does occur, the baby’s collarbone is the most commonly affected area. If a baby is born in a breech position, for example, this can increase the risk of broken and bones and fractures occurring. This type of injury typically heals quickly, although the baby may need to wear a splint or soft bandage to limit movement while the healing process takes place.
Taking Legal Action for Birth Injuries
If you or your child have sustained harm during a delivery, trusted birth injury attorneys Chicago, Romanucci Blandin can help you to obtain compensation. While financial compensation can’t undo the physical or emotional distress you’ve experienced, it can help you to cope with the aftermath of an avoidable injury.
In addition to this, making a claim for a birth injury can help to highlight instances of medical malpractice and may even encourage medical providers to implement stricter health and safety protocols. With the potential to help other families avoid the same risks in the future, taking legal action following a birth injury can benefit your family and others.