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The Most Common Birth Injuries

The birth of a child should be, and most often is, the happiest occasion. However, when something goes wrong during or soon after the delivery the joy can become devastation. Sometimes the baby suffers a serious injury or dies during the delivery. Birth injuries are often very serious and can lead to permanent disability.

New Jersey’s Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital explains that there are many reasons that birth injuries occur including, the size of the baby, the position of the baby during labor and delivery, prolonged labor, premature birth and complications during delivery.

Birth injuries can happen in the normal course of labor and delivery. Some birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice by the hospital, physicians or nurses. The following are some of the most common serious birth injuries:

  • Shoulder Dystocia – This condition, also sometimes referred to as Erb’s Palsy, occurs when there is difficulty getting the baby’s shoulder out in delivery. This can cause nerve damage to the baby’s arms and hands which is usually temporary but can be permanent.
  • Cerebral Palsy – This serious condition can occur when the brain is deprived of oxygen and brain damage results. Cerebral palsy affects the motor function of the brain, resulting in low muscle tone, limited and often spastic use of the body as well as speech and vision impairments.
  • Facial Paralysis – The baby’s facial nerve can be damaged or torn during delivery. Surgery may be necessary if the nerve is torn.
  • Fracture – A fracture can happen when there are complications during delivery. The most common fractures are to the clavicle and the collarbone.

A knowledgeable birth injury attorney should be consulted if you think a birth injury may have been caused by medical malpractice.

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