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3 common injuries in newborns

Nothing should spoil the joyous moment of birthing a child. More often than not, however, newborns can suffer serious injuries at the hands of a doctor, nurse or other hospital staff. It is important that Florida residents are aware of the more common birth injuries including stretch, avulsion and rupture.

Stretch, the least serious injury of the three, is simply the stretching of nerve fibers in the major bundle of nerves running from the base of the neck down along the shoulder and arm known as the brachial plexus. Commonly this is a short-term injury. Depending on the severity, symptoms including area sensitivity and a decreased range of motion in the arm will crop up. The injury typically heals in a few weeks or months.

Avulsion is a much more serious injury caused when the roots of the nerve, similar to branches of a tree, have been ripped away from the spinal cord. In addition to a decrease in range of motion and severe swelling, such an injury can affect the leg on the same side of the body, resulting in reduced mobility and stunted growth of the limb.

Rupture occurs when a nerve is stretched past its limits and tears, either partially or entirely. In a partial rupture, the nerves will attempt to form back together, creating a neuroma, or a mass of nerve fibers and scar tissue. When the nerve is torn apart and there are no connecting nerve fibers, this is called a complete rupture.

If a newborn suffers a birth injury at the hands of medical staff, parents should seek the help of a lawyer in order to receive the compensation potentially owed. A lawyer knowledgeable of relevant laws might be able to assist by gathering evidence of negligence.

Source: BirthInjury.org, "Types of Injuries", October 08, 2014

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