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Georgia medical malpractice Attorneys

What are the Most Common Birth Injuries?

Oct 6th, 2023  |  Legal Team  |  Firm News

Medical malpractice during labor and delivery can lead to birth injuries that have a lasting impact on both the child and their family. Here are the most common types that occur

Brachial Plexus Injuries

One of the more prevalent and preventable birth injuries involves the brachial plexus, a network of nerves located near the neck and shoulder. When excessive force is exerted on the baby’s head or neck during delivery, these nerves can be stretched or torn, leading to weakness or paralysis in the affected arm. While mild cases often resolve on their own, more severe injuries require specialized treatment or surgery. Medical practitioners have a responsibility to exercise caution and skill, especially when employing instruments like forceps or vacuum extractors

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a complex neurological condition that affects muscle control and movement. While not always preventable, medical professionals must closely monitor the well-being of both the mother and baby during labor. Negligence in recognizing and responding to signs of distress can lead to oxygen deprivation and subsequent brain damage, a leading cause of cerebral palsy in newborns. In the event your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice, contact our cerebral palsy attorneys in Atlanta.

Facial Nerve Palsy

Pressure on the baby’s face during delivery can lead to facial nerve palsy, a condition characterized by weakness or paralysis on one side of the face. Fortunately, this injury is often temporary, and most infants recover within a few weeks to months. However, vigilant medical care during labor can help minimize the risk of undue pressure resulting in this injury.


Babies’ bones, particularly the collarbone, can sometimes fracture during a challenging birth, and the risk is heightened when instruments like forceps or vacuum extractors are used. While fractures can be distressing, they generally heal well with proper medical attention. Careful handling during delivery and proper training in the use of assistive tools can reduce their likelihood.

Caput Succedaneum

This is a swelling of the scalp that can occur in newborns due to prolonged pressure on the baby’s head against the mother’s cervix or vaginal wall during labor. While it may appear alarming, it typically resolves on its own within a few days. Monitoring the progress of labor and making adjustments as necessary can help prevent this condition.

Intracranial Hemorrhage

Intracranial hemorrhage, a more serious condition, involves bleeding inside the skull. It can occur if there is trauma during delivery. Prompt medical attention is crucial in such cases. While not entirely preventable, skilled and attentive obstetric care can minimize the risk.

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Hypoxic-ischemic Encephalopathy is a severe condition that arises from a shortage of oxygen and blood flow to the baby’s brain. It can lead to significant neurological complications and have long-lasting effects on a child’s development. Preventing HIE in Atlanta requires careful monitoring of the fetal heart rate and oxygen levels throughout labor. Healthcare providers must be trained to recognize signs of fetal distress promptly. Additionally, timely interventions such as changing the mother’s position, administering oxygen to the mother, or, in severe cases, performing an emergency cesarean section can help mitigate the risk of HIE. 

If your child has suffered a preventable birth injury, we can help. Our Atlanta birth injury attorney can discuss your legal options in a free consultation and ensure your child receives the justice they deserve.