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Are birth injuries common?

Few things in life are more exciting and memorable than the birth of a child. Like every parent, you want the childbirth process to go smoothly. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.

Birth injuries do occur. Sometimes, these are unpreventable acts, while other times they are preventable and attributable to someone's negligence.

Defining birth injuries

Birth injuries differ from birth defects in that they are injuries directly caused by the birthing process. These injuries can be minor, such as bruising or a burst blood vessel in the eye. Other injuries, such as brachial palsy, can have lifelong effects, including permanent nerve damage. No matter how serious a childbirth injury is, it’s often a major concern for the parents.

The frequency of birth injuries

Birth injuries occur in 1.9 of every 1,000 live births as of 2012. An infant’s neck, head, and shoulders are the most common locations for these injuries.

You can look at the rates for specific injuries to identify which birth injuries are most common. For instance, the pooling of blood between an infant’s scalp and skull, called a subgaleal hemorrhage, occurs in four of every 10,000 vaginal births and 59 of every 10,000 vacuum-assisted births.

You can also look for specific rates of fractures, such as the occurrence of clavicle fractures in 15 of every 1,000 live births. Some injuries are more common than others.

If in doubt, check it out

Your child’s birth injury may have been preventable. A healthcare provider who fails to fulfill their duty of care to a mother or newborn child may have been negligent. This may mean that your family could recover damages for an injury. Consult with an attorney.

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Ginsberg & O'Connor, P.C.
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Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

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