No soon-to-be parent even likes to think of it, but the truth remains that sometimes a doctor of medical staff's negligence during the delivery of a baby can lead to injury. And while some of these birth injuries are rather minor, like a bruise or a scratch, others are quite severe and can end up affecting a child for the rest of his or her life.
According to studies, birth injuries affect one out of every six babies born in the U.S. This statistic does include those minor injuries, but also includes fractured bones, facial paralysis, cerebral palsy and Erb's palsy.
Overall, a baby being born with a fractured collar bone is one of the most common injuries. Fortunately, once the child is fixed to a certain position, the bone tends to heal without any further complications.
However, in some birth injuries the child is not as lucky. For example, sometimes during delivery the baby's shoulders get stuck behind the mother's pubic bone. When this happens, in some cases doctors and nurses do not react appropriately, and the baby can end up with damage done to the nerves in their shoulder, arm and hand. After this, the child may go on to need surgery, and in some instances never regains the full range of motion in their arm.
Medical malpractice can also lead to cerebral palsy. This can happen for a number of reasons, including a cesarean section not being ordered soon enough, the improper use of forceps, umbilical cord compression and improper fetal heartbeat monitoring.
Overall, it's important to remember that while some birth injuries are unpreventable, others happen due to medical negligence on behalf of doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists. Because of this, when a baby suffers a birth injury, it is a good idea to fully examine the cause of the injury, to see if negligence was the root cause.