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Types of Birth Trauma

There are a significant number of types of birth trauma. The delivery of a baby is a crucial medical event, and the medical personnel who accomplish the safe delivery of a child are to be lauded. Unfortunately, birth trauma is a factor in many births — sometimes it's unavoidable, but sometimes birth trauma should have been prevented or avoided.

In addition, some types of birth trauma are very mild and of a temporary nature, whereas other types of birth trauma cause serious, lasting damage to a child's body and/or mental functioning. No matter what the circumstances, it's best to know all that you can about your baby's situation.

Common Birth Trauma Types

Common types of birth injuries include undue stress on a baby during its delivery, whether stress from physical force, oxygen deprivation or overload, or other delivery complications. Here are some of the most frequently occurring birth trauma types:

  • Brachial plexus palsy: Often due to shoulder dystocia (the baby's shoulders get stuck on the baby's way out of the birth canal). This can result in paralysis of the upper arms.
  • Caput succedaneum: Severe swelling and/or bruising of a baby's scalp that usually disappears within a week or two. This type of birth trauma is often caused by the stress of vacuum extraction procedures.
  • Cephalohematoma: Bleeding under a cranial (head) bone; if the bleeding is extensive it can cause jaundice.
  • Cerebral palsy: A group of neurological disorders that affects motor coordination
  • Facial paralysis: May be due to excessive stress on the baby's face during delivery and may require surgery to correct
  • Fractures: especially of the collarbone or clavicle
  • Lacerations or bruising from forceps
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage: One or more blood vessels in the baby's eye break.

Learn More about Birth Trauma Types and Your Rights

If your infant experienced a birth-related injury and you're not sure whether the injury is due to an avoidable type of birth trauma, contact a birth trauma lawyer to learn more. You can speak with a knowledgeable professional about your concerns, with no commitment or fee for the consultation.

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