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The scale of birth injuries and their classifications

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2023 | Birth Injuries

While many babies in North Adams, Massachusetts, suffer minor injuries that heal soon after, some are more severe. Certain critical instances will recover with timely and appropriate medical care. However, others might result in permanent impairments. This might affect the child physically, cognitively and emotionally.

Breaches of birth injury care standards

Birth injuries are preventable when healthcare professionals adhere to the standard of care for both the mother and baby. These include identifying and addressing uncommon findings, monitoring their health, etc. Possible signs of medical malpractice leading to birth injuries include inattentive or unqualified health providers.

Brachial palsy birth injuries

This results from damage to the nerves that provide sensation and control to the arms and hands. Brachial palsy mainly occurs when there’s a problem delivering the baby’s shoulders. The baby loses the ability to rotate and flex the arm (shoulder dystocia). If there were some swelling or bruising around the nerves, healing might take a few months.

However, complete tearing of the nerves might lead to permanent nerve damage. During recovery, the patient undergoes exercises to preserve the arm’s motion.

Brain-related birth injuries

Injuries related to childbirth can result in varying degrees of brain damage. While certain fractures may lead to brain damage, most don’t. Some of the most common brain-related birth injuries include:

  • Hemorrhage: A hemorrhage or bleeding occurs in and around the brain. This can cause permanent health issues or varying amounts of damage.
  • Cephalohematoma: This is bleeding below the periosteum, a layer of tissue over the skull. Cephalohematoma is usually treatable and doesn’t cause any permanent damage.
  • Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy: The primary indicator of HIE is an insufficient supply of oxygen to the infant’s brain at birth. Inadequate oxygen supply can kill brain cells, causing the development of cerebral palsy.
  • Cerebral dysgenesis: This denotes an abnormal progression and formation of the brain in an infant. An infection or direct damage during childbirth are some of the common causes.

Birth injuries range from temporary and mild to severe. Fortunately, most of these injuries are not fatal and do not lead to significant, lasting complications.