What major and minor birth injuries can babies suffer?

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2021 | Birth Injuries

Birth injuries happen to newborns every single day. Sadly, many babies in New Mexico might experience a birth injury due to a medical mistake. Children can experience a minor or major birth injury. These are some that are more common.

What is a birth injury?

A birth injury is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a type of injury a newborn suffers during childbirth. Often, these injuries occur as a result of medical malpractice. However, there is usually a combination of negligence on the part of a doctor or other medical professional and natural issues that might arise during labor and delivery.

Years ago, birth injuries were far more prevalent especially during a cesarean delivery. Doctors used instruments like forceps that would commonly result in injuries to the baby’s delicate scalp. Now, it’s only used in a limited capacity.

What are some minor birth injuries?

Medical malpractice during childbirth can result in a few minor birth injuries. Some of the most common include the following:

  • Swelling and bruising of the scalp: This is very common and usually clears up after a few days.
  • Scalp scratches: This injury can occur while the baby is in the birth canal and forceps or vacuum extraction is used.
  • Bleeding outside skull bones: The thick covering outside of the skull bones can experience bleeding.
  • Cephalhematoma: This minor injury occurs when blood accumulates below the covering outside the skull bones. It can be hidden by hair. No treatment is needed.

What are some major birth injuries?

Major birth injuries may require a medical malpractice lawsuit. They can be serious and require immediate treatment. Some major birth injuries include the following:

  • Subgaleal hemorrhage: This injury involves bleeding under the scalp but over the covering outside the skull bones. It can lead to blood loss and shock. The baby might need a blood transfusion. Clotting can occur when forceps or vacuum extraction is used improperly.
  • Bleeding in and around the brain: Babies can suffer serious injuries that result in bleeding in or around the brain and experience symptoms like seizures, difficulty feeding and lethargy.
  • Nerve injuries: Some nerve injuries can be serious. If the spinal cord or phrenic nerve are affected, it can lead to paralysis or breathing issues.


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