Common Birth Injuries in Medical Malpractice Claims

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Six Birth Injuries That Are Common in Medical Malpractice Claims

The birth of your baby is a joyful day, but it can also be highly stressful when something goes wrong. If your baby was born with an injury, your doctor may have been negligent. Here are six of the most common birth injuries that are often mentioned by personal injury attorneys in medical malpractice claims.


A fracture is another word for a broken bone. In difficult and prolonged deliveries, fractures are a very common birth injury. Babies typically suffer from fractured collarbones when the physician pulls too hard during delivery.

A particularly negligent and careless physician could cause a fracture even in a short delivery. One of the common signs that a newborn has a fractured collarbone is when they can’t move one arm after birth. Typical birth fractures usually heal without lasting complications.

Brachial Plexus Injuries

If you notice that your baby can’t move their arm or hand after birth, this could be a symptom of a brachial plexus injury. These injuries occur when there is damage to the bundle of nerves in the neck that are responsible for moving the arm and hand.

While minor brachial plexus injuries may heal on their own, others require surgery to restore full function of the arm and hand. In very severe cases, the loss of function caused by a brachial plexus injury leads to a permanent disability.

Brain Injuries

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Infants can suffer from brain injuries during birth for several reasons. However, the most common cause of brain damage during birth is oxygen deprivation. If a physician does not properly monitor a baby during birth, the baby could lose oxygen from staying in the birth canal for too long.

Another common cause of a brain injury during birth is a prolapsed cord, where the baby’s umbilical cord gets squeezed between the mother’s pelvic bones and the baby’s body. This leads to a reduction in blood supply and loss of oxygen.

Facial Paralysis

Facial paralysis usually affects just one side of a baby’s face. If you notice that your baby can’t close one eye or has no movement at all on one side of their face, these could be symptoms of nerve damage.

During deliveries involving vacuum extraction or forceps, one side of the baby’s face might have sustained excessive pressure. The resulting nerve damage may heal with time if it’s not too severe.


Cephalohematoma is a fancy word for a bump on the head. When caused by birth trauma, cephalohematoma usually doesn’t appear until hours after the delivery. Bleeding beneath the cranium can cause a raised bump to appear on your baby’s head.

While this birth injury is usually healed after a few months, it can lead to an increased risk of other complications such as jaundice, hypotension and anemia. This injury is often caused by the use of forceps or vacuum extraction during delivery.

Caput Succedaneum

Caput succedaneum is another birth injury that can be caused by the use of birth assist tools. This injury involves swelling underneath the baby’s scalp. While it usually subsides with time, caput succedaneum can put babies at risk for other conditions like kernicterus, which is a form of brain damage.

Talk to a Lawyer if Your Baby Was Injured at Birth

Birth injuries that are the result of a difficult delivery can often be avoided when the doctor calls for an emergency C-section. Unfortunately, many doctors wait too long to make this decision, and babies suffer brain damage and other injuries as a result.

If you suspect that your baby may have been injured at birth due to medical negligence, contact RAM Law to speak to one of our personal injury attorneys at no cost. Our New Jersey team is here to assist you in recovering the financial compensation that you may need for your baby’s increased medical and living expenses. Call us at 732-247-3600 or email us at [email protected].

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To schedule a confidential consultation, contact us online or call our offices, in New Brunswick at (732) 247-3600, in Somerville at (908) 448-2560, or in Freehold at (732) 828-2234.

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