COVID-19 UPDATE: We are open! Our team is working and offering consultations via phone, e-mail, and video conferencing.

newborn baby in hospital incubator crying while mother's hands are cradling its head through the openings

Common Brain Injuries at Birth

Causes of Brain Injuries at Birth

Thanks to modern medical technologies, the birth injury rate has declined over the past 30 years, and most babies are born without any complications. However, the use of forceps and vacuum extraction could lead to a brain injury, among other procedures and birth incidents. Read on to learn more about how brain injuries happen at birth.

Hypoxic/Anoxic Injuries

Hypoxic/anoxic brain injuries occur when a baby’s brain is deprived of oxygen and can happen before, during, or after birth. Here’s the difference between the two:

  • Hypoxia is caused by a decrease in oxygen to the brain.
  • Anoxia is caused by a complete restriction of oxygen to the brain.

There are many instances in which a baby can be subjected to hypoxia or anoxia, such as a delayed C-section, prolapsed umbilical cord, preeclampsia, fetal distress, and more.

A restricted or complete lack of oxygen to the brain can cause the following birth injuries that often lead to life-long complications:

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is one of the most common birth injuries caused by oxygen deprivation. The following instances during the birth process can be attributed to causing cerebral palsy:

  • Oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery
  • Pulling the baby from the birth canal forcefully
  • Misuse of vacuum extractor or forceps
  • Prolonged labor
  • Delayed C-section

Early warning signs of cerebral palsy may include:

  • Slow to reach milestones/developmental delays (not rolling over, sitting up, crawling, etc.)
  • Abnormal muscle tone (body parts are stiff or flaccid)
  • Abnormal posture (use of one side of the body more than the other)

Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy is a brain injury that may be the result of difficult labor. For example, a head-first delivery, breech birth (feet first), or a baby is stuck in the birth canal. During a difficult delivery, doctors may use more force to pull the baby from the birth canal, and the force can cause Erb’s palsy.

Early warning signs of Erb’s palsy may include:

  • Weakness or numbness in the arm
  • Paralysis of the arm (partial or total)
  • Trouble gripping objects or lack of grip strength

Head Trauma

Head trauma at birth can be the result of a number of different issues, such as misuse of forceps or vacuum extraction, prolonged labor, abnormal fetal position, and shoulder dystocia. Head trauma can come in the form of:

  • Fractures to the skull
  • Hematomas (buildup of blood and fluid on the brain)
  • Intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding of the brain)

Early warning signs of head trauma may include:

  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Difficulty feeding

Has Your Baby Suffered a Birth Injury? Contact Us Today for Help.

Learning that your baby has suffered a brain injury at birth is devastating — and not knowing how you will care for their future needs can be both emotionally and financially stressful. When a birth injury could have been prevented, you have the right to seek justice.

At Bandas Law Firm, P.C., we understand the life-altering burdens that a birth injury can have on parents. Let us help you recover compensation to support the medical needs and future care of your child.

Contact us today at (505) 393-6303 to learn how we can assist you.