Close up of a new born baby's hands

What Are the Most Common Birth Injuries?

When you're expecting a child, the last thing on your mind is that they could be injured during birth. However, it's essential to be aware of the most common birth injuries so that you know what to look out for and what to do if something goes wrong. The Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC team is here to provide you with insight on some of the most common birth injuries and how they can be treated.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects muscle movement and coordination. It is caused by brain damage, usually during pregnancy or childbirth. Cerebral palsy can range from mild to severe, and symptoms can vary from person to person.

Common symptoms include muscle weakness, stiffness, and involuntary movements. Cerebral palsy can also cause problems with balance, speech, and vision. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but treatments can help improve symptoms and quality of life. Early intervention is often essential for the best possible outcome.

Facial Paralysis

Facial paralysis is a condition that can affect newborn babies. It occurs when the facial muscles are unable to move, resulting in a paralyzed facial expression. Facial paralysis can be caused by a variety of factors, including birth trauma, genetic abnormalities, and infections.

Although facial paralysis can be alarming for parents, it is important to remember that many babies with this condition recover fully within a few months. In fact, facial paralysis is often temporary, and many babies show no long-term effects. However, in some cases, facial paralysis may persist into childhood or adulthood. If you are concerned about your child's facial paralysis, please talk to your doctor.

Brachial Plexus

A brachial plexus is a group of nerves originating in the spinal cord and extending to the shoulder, arm, and hand. These nerves are responsible for sensation and movement in the upper extremities.

In newborns, the brachial plexus is particularly vulnerable to injury due to its anatomic location. The brachial plexus is located at the junction of the neck and shoulder, where it is susceptible to stretching and compression forces. Birth-related brachial plexus injuries can occur when the head and neck are forcefully pulled away from the body during delivery. These injuries can range from mild to severe and may result in temporary or permanent paralysis of the affected arm.

Treatment for brachial plexus injuries typically involves conservative measures such as physical therapy, but surgery may be required in some cases.

Fractured Collarbones

Fractured collarbones in newborns are a common occurrence. It is estimated that one out of every two hundred babies will be born with a fractured collarbone. While the exact cause is unknown, it is thought to be due to the baby's position in the womb.

The most common symptom of a fractured collarbone is a lump or bump on the shoulder. In some cases, the bone may protrude through the skin. If your baby has a lump or bumps on the shoulder, it is vital to have it checked by a doctor. Fractured collarbones typically heal within four to six weeks with no lasting effects. However, if the bone does not heal properly, your child may experience pain and limited range of motion in the affected arm.

Perinatal Asphyxia

Newborns who experience perinatal asphyxia are at risk for a number of neurological problems. The condition is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain during the birthing process. This can happen when the baby is deprived of oxygen during labor or if the umbilical cord is compressed.

While it can occur in any pregnancy, it is more common in premature babies and babies with certain medical conditions. There are many risk factors for perinatal asphyxia, including maternal diabetes, placental abruption, and prolonged labor. If perinatal asphyxia is suspected, immediate medical treatment is essential. With early diagnosis and treatment, many babies make a full recovery.

Hemorrhages

Hemorrhages are a common occurrence in newborns and can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, hemorrhages happen when blood vessels rupture during the delivery process. Other times, they can be the result of an underlying medical condition. Regardless of the cause, hemorrhages can be dangerous for babies and require prompt medical attention.

One of the most serious types of hemorrhage is brain hemorrhage. This can occur when there is bleeding in the brain tissue or in the space between the brain and the skull. Brain hemorrhages are often caused by head trauma during delivery but can also happen as a result of an infection or other medical condition.

Another type of hemorrhage that can occur in newborns is gastrointestinal hemorrhage. This happens when there is bleeding in the stomach or intestines. Gastrointestinal hemorrhages are often mild and do not require treatment, but more severe bleeds can be life-threatening. If your baby is showing signs of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage, such as blood in the stool or vomiting blood, it is important to seek medical help right away.

Birth Injury Attorneys

No family should have to suffer the tragedy of a birth injury. If such an injury has impacted your family, you may be feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of where to turn. The good news is that you don't have to face this challenge alone. The Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC team is here to handle the hard work during this difficult time while you focus on what’s really important—your family.

When you’re ready, reach out to our firm at (502) 242-8872 or visit our website to get started on a consultation request form.

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