Each year roughly 1-in-130 American families are impacted by a birth injury. While many expecting parents can name a few of the most traumatic birth injuries, like brachial plexus injuries or cerebral palsy, there are dozens of potential injuries your child may face in the delivery room. To get a better idea of the dangers, we’ve put together these four birth injuries you should know about before the due date.
Cephalohematoma manifests as a large bump on the baby’s head. It’s caused by excessive pressure during delivery, either from labor-inducing drugs, like Pitocin or from improper use of forceps.
The good news is that cephalohematoma rarely requires specific treatment. More often than not, the baby will heal within a few weeks or months and the bump will be harmlessly absorbed into their body.
Caput Succedaneum is a condition that is visually similar to cephalohematoma. In the previous injury, blood pools just under the baby’s skin, causing a lump on the head. This birth injury is characterized by a larger bump at the top of the head, which can give the baby’s head an elongated appearance.
While this condition may appear significant, it is typically harmless. This condition rarely requires intervention and typically disappears within a few days or even a few hours.
Subconjunctival hemorrhage, like the previous conditions, is typically caused by a traumatic birth, especially those where there’s too much pressure applied during delivery. This condition presents as a blood-red in the white parts of the eye.
While this birth injury may conjure worries of permanent complications, it is extremely common. Often, a newborn may experience subconjunctival hemorrhaging after a particularly strong cough or sneeze. If your child presents symptoms, keep an eye on them for a few days and call a doctor if the broken blood vessels get too close to the center of the eye.
Birth injuries resulting in paralysis are rare, but they still happen. Like the injuries above, this condition is most often caused by applying too much pressure in the delivery room, either from forceps or labor-inducing drugs. Too much pressure to the baby’s head or spine can result in a loss of movement of the face, legs, or arms.
This is usually a condition that will likely require a lifetime of care. In some cases, the child may never regain their full range of movement. For that reason, it’s important for families impacted by these chronic birth injuries to pursue justice from those who harmed them.
If you or your child suffered a serious birth injury, we are here for you. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced Atlanta birth injury attorney from The Mabrey Firm, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (404) 814-5098 or send us an email.