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4 Newborn Injuries Caused by Birth Trauma

The birth of a child is typically a joyous occasion, but it can also be accompanied by unexpected challenges and complications, including birth trauma. Birth trauma refers to physical injuries sustained by a newborn during the birthing process, which can result from various factors such as prolonged labor, difficult delivery, or the improper use of medical interventions. In this blog post, we’ll explore four common newborn injuries caused by birth trauma, including their causes, symptoms, and potential long-term effects.

1. Brachial Plexus Injury

Brachial plexus injuries occur when the nerves that control movement and sensation in the arms and hands are damaged during birth. This can happen if the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone during delivery, a condition known as shoulder dystocia. Symptoms of a brachial plexus injury may include weakness or paralysis in one arm, reduced grip strength, and lack of movement in the affected limb. In some cases, brachial plexus injuries may resolve on their own over time with physical therapy and rehabilitation. However, severe cases may result in permanent disability or impairment of arm function.

2. Caput Succedaneum

Caput succedaneum is a condition characterized by swelling or fluid buildup in the scalp of a newborn, typically caused by pressure exerted on the baby’s head during labor and delivery. Symptoms of caput succedaneum may include a soft, puffy swelling on the baby’s scalp, which may be visible immediately after birth and gradually resolve within a few days.

In most cases, caput succedaneum does not result in long-term complications and resolves on its own without treatment. However, in rare instances, excessive swelling or fluid buildup may lead to complications such as jaundice or infection.

3. Cephalohematoma

Cephalohematoma is a collection of blood between the skull and the periosteum, the membrane covering the bones of the skull. It often occurs as a result of trauma to the head during delivery, such as the use of forceps or vacuum extraction. Symptoms of cephalohematoma may include a raised, firm lump on the baby’s head, which may be tender to the touch and may not be noticeable immediately after birth but can develop within hours or days. In most cases, cephalohematoma resolves on its own over several weeks to months as the blood is reabsorbed by the body. However, in rare instances, complications such as anemia or infection may occur.

4. Facial Nerve Palsy

Facial nerve palsy occurs when the facial nerve, which controls facial movements, is injured during birth. This can happen due to pressure on the baby’s face or trauma to the nerve during delivery. Symptoms of facial nerve palsy may include weakness or paralysis on one side of the baby’s face, drooping of the mouth or eyelid, and difficulty closing the eye on the affected side.

Most cases of facial nerve palsy resolve on their own within a few weeks to months as the nerve heals. However, in severe cases, permanent facial weakness or asymmetry may occur.

It’s essential for healthcare providers to be vigilant in monitoring newborns for signs of injury and providing appropriate care and intervention when necessary. By understanding the common types of newborn injuries caused by birth trauma, parents can be better prepared to advocate for their child’s health and well-being during the birthing process and beyond. If you child is suffering from an injury, please speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Port St. Lucie for legal guidance and support.

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