Birth Brain Injury

Birth Brain Injury

Birth Injuries to the Brain

There are numerous types of cases involving medical negligence of a baby and the resulting health complications that can result, all because of malpractice. When a baby is born, the first part of its body that enters the mother’s birth canal is the head, and accordingly, the baby’s head undergoes much of the intense pressure that results during the birth delivery experience. As a result of this intense pressure on the baby’s head, swelling and bruising can often result, which are more often than not pretty minor and typically resolve within a few days.


Cephalohematoma is a condition that involves an area of bleeding underneath the baby’s cranial bones and is thus categorized as a specific type of head injury. This type of birth injury usually appears a few hours after the birthing and reveals itself as a significantly sized, raised lump on the baby’s head. Cephalohematoma leads to a serious complication whereby the baby’s body ends up re-absorbing the blood and this can prove to be a very serious complication.

This type of injury ranges in size, and depending on the size, most cephalohematomas typically require two weeks to three months to completely heal and thus disappear from the baby’s head. In serious conditions, when the area of bleeding is very large, some babies suffering from the condition can contract a case of jaundice as the body’s red blood cells degrade and as a result the liver is negatively impacted from the whole ordeal.

Surgical Forceps Misuse

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Intense pressure resulting from child birth can lead to serious pressure on the baby’s facial nerves, mainly caused by improper use of surgical forceps. This serious condition can lead to intense muscle weakness on one side of the baby’s face and lead to face abnormalities where the baby’s head and face seem asymmetrically disproportionate. Often times, no specific treatment is required since the baby typically will recover within a few weeks time and the damage is rarely permanent.

Brachial Palsy

Brachial palsy results when the brachial plexus becomes injured, usually as a result of a difficulty in delivering the baby’s shoulder through the birth canal. In response, the baby acquires a weakness or even a paralysis of his or her arm and/or hand.

Sometimes the nerve stretching from the diaphragm becomes injured, which can lead to a serious condition whereby the diaphragm becomes paralyzed, from which breathing difficulties can ensue.
There is a great disparity in regard to the healing time frame for birth injuries. Some infant nerve injuries can heal within a few weeks while more serious ones can impact the baby for an entire lifetime. To avoid lifetime injuries, it is imperative to prevent extreme movements at the shoulder and thus allow the damaged nerves to properly heal.

Facial Nerve Damage

Temporary facial paralysis can also develop during birth when the facial nerves are damaged, typically from the usage of forceps and as a result, part of the face becomes immobilized and the eye cannot close fully. Unfortunately, damage to the spinal cord is more often than not permanent and are thus very rare.

A more common birth injury involves bone fractures, which often result from the breaking of a clavicle or collarbone during labor and/or delivery. Luckily, these injuries can heal within a few months time but precautions must be taken. Caput succedaneum refers to an intense but temporary swelling of the soft tissues of the baby’s scalp, which results from a rough travel through the birth canal, resulting in bruising.

Additional Birth Brain Injuries

Some more serious birth injuries are Erb’s palsy, which is a type of brachial plexus paralysis, in addition to Meningitis, which can be contracted while in the hospital. Respiratory Distress Syndrome can also result from a contracted lung disorder and can lead to lung collapsing. An even more serious condition, which happens to be a leading cause of death among newborns, is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome, which occurs when the fetus becomes stressed during labor and thus the baby inhales a mixture of the meconium and amniotic fluid.

Learn more about serious birth injuries: