Every child is different, and so is every birth. Unfortunately, sometimes things can go wrong during the birthing process, which can lead to injuries in the newborn. While some birth injuries are relatively minor and will heal on their own with time, others can be more serious, leading to long-term health problems.
Children are more likely to be injured during a vaginal delivery than a cesarean section (C-section). It happens because, during a vaginal delivery, the baby must pass through the birth canal, which can be a tight squeeze and stress the baby's head and neck.
So here are some of the most common birth injuries that can occur in newborns.
A cephalohematoma is a bruise on the head that occurs when blood vessels rupture during delivery. This injury is usually harmless and will resolve itself within a few weeks. However, in some cases, it can lead to jaundice.
Often the negligence of the medical staff during delivery can cause cephalohematoma. For instance, if the doctor uses too much force when delivering the baby, it can cause the blood vessels to rupture. As a result, it causes a lump or a bump on the baby's head can become extremely large. In severe cases, it can even lead to skull deformities.
As parents, you must know your rights, and if you believe your child's injury was due to medical negligence, you should speak to a birth injury lawyer. In such a case of a birth injury medical malpractice, you can sue the doctor or the hospital and receive compensation for your child's injuries. The lawyer will help you build a strong case and get the compensation you deserve.
A caput succedaneum is a bruising that occurs on the scalp. It is caused by the pressure of the baby's head against the mother's pelvic bone during delivery. This injury is usually harmless and will resolve itself within a few days. However, it can cause some discomfort for the baby. For instance, the baby may have a fever or be irritable. Or, the parents may notice that the baby has a slightly swollen head.
Craniosynostosis is a defect in which the bones in the skull fuse together too early. It can cause brain development problems and lead to deformities of the face and head. It is a severe condition that requires surgery to correct. In addition, children with craniosynostosis often need to see a neurologist or neurosurgeon for ongoing care. It is because craniosynostosis can cause increased pressure on the brain, leading to a host of neurological problems. However, most children with craniosynostosis can lead healthy lives with proper treatment.
Erb's palsy is paralysis that affects the arms and hands. It happens due to damage to the nerves that control these muscles. This injury often occurs during a difficult delivery, when the baby's shoulder gets stuck behind the mother's pubic bone, called shoulder dystocia. The doctor may need to use forceps to free the baby. However, applying too much force can damage the nerves and lead to Erb's palsy.
Most children with Erb's palsy recover within a few months. However, in some cases, the paralysis is permanent. Children with Erb's palsy often need physical therapy to help them regain movement in their affected arms and hand.
A fractured skull is a break in one or more of the bones that make up the skull. It can occur during a difficult delivery when the doctor uses too much force to pull the baby out. In some cases, the fractured skull may not be apparent at birth. However, parents may notice that their child has a lump or bruise on the head. In more severe cases, the child may have a sunken area on the skull or may be bleeding from the nose or ears.
Fractured skulls are injuries that require immediate medical attention. Children with fractured skulls often need surgery to repair the damage. In some cases, they may also need to see a neurologist or neurosurgeon for ongoing care.
An intracranial hemorrhage is a bleed in the brain. It can occur when there is too much force on the baby's head during delivery. It can cause the blood vessels in the brain to rupture and bleed. Intracranial hemorrhages are serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. Children with this condition often need surgery to repair the damage. In some cases, they may also need to see a neurologist or neurosurgeon for ongoing care.
Spinal cord injury
A spinal cord injury is a serious injury that can occur when there is damage to the baby's spine during delivery. For example, this can happen if the baby's head and neck are forced into an unnatural position. Spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis below the point of injury. In some cases, the paralysis may be temporary. However, in other cases, it may be permanent.
Spinal cord injuries are serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. Children with this condition often need surgery to repair the damage. In some cases, they may also need to see a neurologist or neurosurgeon for ongoing care.
Brachial plexus palsy
Brachial plexus palsy is paralysis that affects the arm and hand. When the nerves controlling these muscles are damaged, it can cause brachial plexus palsy. This injury often occurs during a difficult delivery, when the baby's shoulder gets stuck behind the mother's pubic bone. The doctor may need to use forceps or a vacuum to free the baby. However, if too much force is used, it can damage the nerves and lead to brachial plexus palsy.
These are just some of the most common birth injuries that can occur in newborns. If you think your child has sustained a birth injury, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. In some cases, early intervention can help improve the child's prognosis. Remember, you are not alone. Many resources are available to help you and your family cope with a birth injury.