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Different Types of Permanent Birth Injuries

June 13, 2017

The birth of your child should be a joyous occasion. However, if your doctor’s negligence results in a medical mistake, a birth injury can occur, and you’ll be quickly robbed of your joy. To say the least, an injury to your child is devastating. But it’s even more devastating if your child’s injury is permanent. 

Birth injuries, physical or mental, occur when a newborn suffers an injury during pregnancy, during labor/delivery or after birth. Some of these injuries are preventable, especially when caused by negligent care or medical malpractice.

A birth injury can be temporary or, in the worst case, permanent. If a birth injury is permanent, your child’s activities will be limited for the rest of his or her life. While birth injuries vary in the level of severity, they can all prove costly in terms of long-term medical care and therapeutic expenses.

Some permanent injuries that can occur during a child’s birth include:

Intracranial Hemorrhage

Also known as a “brain bleed,” this birth injury occurs when a newborn bleeds beneath the skull or within the brain. A severe bleed can cause serious mental and physical harm and can affect a child’s ability to learn and develop intellectually.

Perinatal Asphyxia

Also known as “birth asphyxia,” this birth injury occurs when a newborn’s oxygen is cut off, resulting in harm to the brain. Long-term damages can include intellectual disability, seizures and cerebral palsy.

Facial nerve palsy

Birth trauma can cause a newborn to lose voluntary control of his or her face. While this injury often goes away, the affected face muscles can sometimes become permanently paralyzed.

Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy occurs when a child injures his or her brain before, during, or after birth. Children with cerebral palsy suffer from various impairments, including exaggerated reflexes, lack of muscle control, balance problems, and floppy or rigid limbs. In some cases, medical malpractice causes cerebral palsy. For example, a child’s cerebral palsy can be linked to medical malpractice if a medical mistake deprives the child of oxygen during birth.

Spinal cord injuries

Trauma during birth, such as bruising or tearing, can damage a child’s spinal cord. Long term, a spinal cord injury can lead to paralysis, intellectual disabilities and sometimes death. To guard against injuries, doctors and medical staff must be diligent in protecting a child’s spinal cord during labor and delivery.


If your child has suffered a birth injury because of medical malpractice, call us at 412-471-4300, or email us. Berger Lagnese & Paul, LLC has an experienced team of lawyers and doctors that specializes in medical malpractice. We help residents in Pittsburgh, Greensburg, Beaver, Erie, Uniontown, Washington and throughout Western Pennsylvania.

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