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3 common kinds of birth injuries

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2023 | Birth Injuries

Birth injuries, while relatively rare, can result in profound impacts on a newborn’s life. They can also cause trauma for parents and other close family members. These injuries can range from mild to severe, with some leading to long-term disabilities.

The occurrence of these injuries can lead to difficult questions about medical negligence and patient rights. Understanding these injuries isn’t just about recognizing their medical symptoms but also comprehending the long-term effects that might occur. Especially when long-term harm is an issue, parents may benefit from seeking legal guidance to explore whether they have grounds upon which to file a lawsuit.

Shoulder dystocia

Shoulder dystocia is a critical situation that arises during childbirth. It occurs when the baby’s shoulders get trapped behind the mother’s pelvic bone after the head has been delivered. This complication can happen without warning. It poses risks to the baby and the mother. For the baby, the primary concern is the potential for nerve damage, particularly to the brachial plexus, and in severe cases, lack of oxygen leading to brain damage. Mothers can face risks such as bleeding or uterine rupture.

Brachial plexus injuries

Brachial plexus injuries involve damage to the nerves that control the shoulders, arms, and hands. During childbirth, these injuries can occur due to excessive stretching, often as a result of complications like shoulder dystocia. Symptoms in newborns may include a lack of movement in one arm or a decreased grip.


Hypoxia is a condition where the baby’s brain and other organs don’t receive enough oxygen during birth. This can lead to severe complications, including developmental delays or cerebral palsy. Issues with the umbilical cord, placenta or prolonged labor can cause hypoxia.

The medical care that’s required for some of these injuries can be time consuming and costly. Parents may choose to seek compensation through a medical malpractice claim if their child’s injuries were caused by professional negligence. This enables them to hold the medical team liable and to recover the financial damages. There are strict time limits in Massachusetts to get these cases filed, so seeking legal guidance swiftly is critical.