Not all birth injuries are avoidable. Sometimes, mothers and their newborn infants suffer injuries naturally during labor and delivery. While some of these occurrences are the result of natural causes, some birth injuries are caused by careless medical attention. The birth of a new child should be filled with joy and excitement – not the fear and uncertainty of a medical complication. As a patient, you should be able to trust the doctors and nurses to care for you – especially if the wellbeing of your child is at stake. Unfortunately, seven out of every 1,000 births are tainted by some form of injury. Bone fractures are one of the most common forms of birth injury.
What causes a bone fracture during birth?
There are a variety of circumstances that may cause a child to sustain fractures during birth. Generally speaking, larger babies are at a higher risk of suffering an injury than average-sized newborns. If the mother has been given drugs to induce labor, the child is more likely to suffer an injury. Bone fractures occur when an undue amount of pressure is applied to a portion of the child's skeletal system. Most fracture injuries involve the baby's clavicle or collarbone. Many clavicle injuries are the result of breech birth - when the child is delivered feet-first instead of head-first.
During a breech birth, the baby's arm, head or shoulder could become lodged against the mother's pelvic bone. When this happens, the baby's bone could easily break. Although young children tend to heal quickly, rare cases of bone fracture may leave the child with permanent physical damage. The clavicle connects the chest to the shoulder. Thus, collar bone injuries and brachial palsy can be medically related. Like collarbone fractures, brachial plexus injuries are more likely to occur during a breech birth. When the child's shoulder, arm or head becomes stuck, the brachial plexus may be damaged along with the bone.
Symptoms and Treatment
Sometimes, doctors and nurses fail to notice fracture injuries in newborn infants. It may take several days before a parent, family member or doctor notices the signs of a broken clavicle. If the child's collarbone has been broken, the baby may cry when held and may be unable to move their limbs. The affected area may appear stiff and show bruises. If a broken collarbone remains unnoticed for several weeks, a hard lump may develop on the affected area. If you think that your newborn has suffered fracture, talk to your doctor right away.
Once the injury has been identified, the child may be able to recover without extensive medical attention; in many cases, the bone will heal by itself in a matter of weeks. However, severe injuries may require long-term treatment - especially if the child suffered a brachial plexus injury along with the bone fracture. Of course, collarbones aren't the only bone at risk of breaking during birth. Arm and skull fractures occur, too. Skull fractures are extremely rare but can be very serious. In some of the most severe cases, the child may suffer a skull fracture if the doctor uses a vacuum extractor incorrectly.
Zinda Law Group
At the firm, we are devoted to providing our clients with the best legal representation. If you or a loved one has been hurt, contact us and schedule a case evaluation. The sooner we hear from you, the sooner we can begin discussing an aggressive and strategic plan to help you get the financial compensation you may deserve. No child should suffer because of a careless nurse or doctor. Zinda Law Group is ready to stand up for your rights - call today.