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Types of Birth Injuries Caused by Negligent Doctors

November 28, 2017


The birth of your child should be one of the happiest days of your life. You depend on the doctor to deliver a healthy baby. Unfortunately, complications can arise during childbirth. That’s when you need the doctor to be “on their game” and not make any careless medical mistakes. Even if your child was at risk of a birth injury due to very particular circumstances, such as being born prematurely or going through prolonged labor, it is still incumbent upon the doctor and the other trained medical professionals present for labor to ensure that steps are taken to protect the child’s health.

Here are a few of the most common birth injuries that are caused by medical malpractice:

  • Erb’s Palsy: When the physician or nurse pulls on the child’s head during childbirth, the bundle of nerves between the neck and the shoulder can sustain severe damage. Depending on the precise location of the nerve damage, the child could be paralyzed in the arm, forearm, wrist, or hand. Most cases of Erb’s palsy are preventable.

  • Caput Succedaneum: When the baby’s scalp is pressed against a dilating cervix while moving through the birth canal, that pressure can cause swelling and bruising of the soft tissue area around the baby’s head. This condition typically subsides within a few days.

  • Bone Fractures: A newborn infant’s clavicle is particularly vulnerable. If the physician and nurse are not careful, the child could suffer a fractured clavicle and struggle to move at least one of their arms in the weeks after birth.

  • Facial Paralysis: Nerve damage is a serious problem that afflicts babies who are grabbed too forcefully with forceps during delivery. If the child is non-responsive on one side of their face and can’t close one of their eyes, then it’s possible that a nerve was bruised or torn. In the case of a nerve tear, an immediate diagnosis is necessary so that the child can undergo surgery.

If your child suffered a birth injury and you believe that medical negligence is to blame, you should speak with an experienced Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorney. Contact Berger Lagnese & Paul, LLC via our convenient online contact form for a case consultation.


The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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