Common birth injuries and how they happen

Infants may suffer from broken bones, oxygen deprivation, nerve damage and other injuries caused by improper medical practices during the birthing process.

Some Florida babies are injured during the birthing process. This trauma can be caused by events the doctors are unable to control, such as when labor starts, the baby's size, an abnormal position or prolonged labor. However, some common birth injuries affect newborns because of poor decisions made by the medical staff.

Oxygen deprivation

When anyone goes without oxygen for too long, it can cause injuries to the brain. This is especially true for infants who can suffer from cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, physical problems and seizures because of the lack of oxygen. This type of trauma can take place when the baby is allowed to remain in the birth canal for too long. Sometimes, poor fetal monitoring can make a physician miscalculate the location of the umbilical cord, which can restrict the baby's ability to breath as he or she is pushed down the birth canal.

Caput succedaneum

Sometimes during the birthing process, a child may need a little help to get out of the birth canal. Doctors often turn to forceps and vacuums, which can aid in the delivery. When a vacuum is used improperly, the soft tissue on the infant's scalp may start to swell. There is a chance for this injury to happen naturally as the baby travels down the birth canal, but usually improper placement of the vacuum is to blame.

Nerve damage

Nerve damage can lead to partial paralysis. For example, when the bundle of nerves responsible for moving the hand is damaged, the child may not have control over his or her extremity. This injury is often referred to as a brachial palsy wound. If a baby's shoulder gets trapped against the mother's pelvic bone, the physician often has to pull the child in order to assist in the delivery. Pulling too hard or in the wrong way can lead to damage done to the bundle of nerves.

Nerves in the infant's face could also be damaged during birth. If the doctor has to use forceps to aid in delivery, improper placement can lead to too much pressure on the face. Damaging nerves in the face can lead to an inability to close an eye, partial facial paralysis or total paralysis on one side of the face.

Broken bones

Breach babies, or babies positioned with the buttocks down, are at a higher risk for fracturing their clavicle. This is because infants in the breach position usually need assistance during the delivery. If the physician pulls to hard, it can result in a broken bone. This type of injury usually has no long-term effects.

There are a lot of risks associated with the birthing process in Florida. If an injury occurs to the mother or baby, it may be helpful to work with an attorney who has experience with medical cases.