Birth injuries can happen for two main reasons: genetic issues or mistakes before, during or after birth. Birth injuries may affect a child or their mother, leading to serious pain, suffering, and, in some cases, disabilities or death.
Birth injuries are unfortunately common. Some of the most likely injuries include fractures of the clavicle, brachial plexus injuries, and fractures. While many orthopedic injuries will heal over time, severe injuries could lead to lifelong damage.
When a baby is born, one of the most common injuries is a broken clavicle. A baby with a broken clavicle may have pain and swelling, but strapping the arm and allowing it to heal usually resolves the symptoms. Sometimes, though, the brachial plexus will be injured.
Brachial plexus injuries
The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that goes from the neck down the arm. It is under the collarbone and may be injured during birth. Usually, this happens if the head and arm are pulled in different directions. A common symptom is weakness.
Minor and moderate cases of injury tend to heal, but brachial plexus injuries can lead to longer-term damage in some cases. Surgery, though rarely required, may be needed if nerve injuries are noticed between three and six months after the initial damage.
Fractures are also common during birth. Growth plate fractures can affect the arms and legs. Femur fractures, which are rare, may also occur if the baby’s leg twists during delivery. In most cases, these injuries will heal in the next few weeks.
Most of the time, birth injuries like these can heal without much intervention. However, severe cases may lead to injuries that affect your child for life.
What should you do if your child has a birth injury?
If your child was injured at birth because of negligence or errors, it’s important for you to look into making a medical malpractice claim. You may be able to seek compensation to cover ongoing treatment or to support your child in the future. Every case is different, so it’s valuable to look into your options.