What Are Some Causes of Birth Injury?

Newborns are susceptible to injuries and accidents that occur during or shortly after birth.
a baby sleeping on a blanket

Newborns are susceptible to injuries and accidents that occur during or shortly after birth. These accidents can result in a permanent injury requiring long-term care. The causes of birth injuries vary and may be a result of unforeseen medical complications. In other cases, there is usually a clear cause and someone to hold accountable. In cases where a medical professional is clearly responsible for the birth injury, medical negligence has occurred, and you can lodge a birth injury claim. Keep reading as we explore some common causes of birth injury and what your legal options are.1. Brain Damage


Any injury that takes place during or before childbirth can result in brain damage. Some fractures can cause bleeding below the skull, but this can is treatable and doesn’t typically leave the baby with any permanent injury. However, some brain injuries can result in brain damage, and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is one example. This brain damage stems from oxygen-deprivation to the child’s brain during birth. An inadequate supply of oxygen can cause brain cells to die, resulting, in some cases, in cerebral palsy.

2. Medical Malpractice

As part of their training, medical professionals understand the birthing process and what irregularities to look out for. During pregnancy, negligence can occur when the healthcare provider fails to diagnose conditions in the baby or the mother. Expectant women should screen for high-risk conditions such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia to ensure a safe birth process. For instance, newborns can be at risk for brain damage when doctors do not treat a maternal condition. Furthermore, undiagnosed preeclampsia in the mother can result in heart issues, liver failure, and chronic seizures during pregnancy or delivery.

Due to the tremendous scientific breakthroughs in obstetrics and gynecology, we now understand the significant role of medical negligence in birth injuries. This is because we can now detect and diagnose genetic irregularities during pregnancy. Additionally, preventable injuries caused by the mistakes of caregivers are avoidable. If your child has developed a permanent disability or experienced harm during or immediately after childbirth, it is only natural to find answers and understand what you can do to help them.


If you’re in the state of Illinois, for instance, you will need a birth injury lawyer who has years of experience in birth injury litigation in Chicago, specifically. When your attorney is familiar with state-specific laws, and especially how they relate to medical malpractice, they are better placed to offer legal counsel on the statute of limitations in your state. They are also guaranteed to be well-versed with local court procedures and will be better placed on filing the relevant paperwork about your case. This way, you’re almost sure that they will do their best as your legal advocate to win you fair compensation.

3. Cerebral Palsy

This is one of the most common birth injuries—cerebral palsy results from oxygen deprivation during childbirth and results from complications during the delivery process. An example of a complication could be the blood supply cut off from the umbilical cord and, in some cases when a problem develops in the placenta. Some complications that could arise from cerebral palsy include learning disabilities, cognitive impairments, and delayed speech. In most cases, the oxygen deprivation that caused the cerebral palsy was preventable and associated with medical malpractice.

4. Brachial Plexus Injuries


Injury to the brachial plexus nerves is another common type of birth injury. The brachial plexus nerves run from the spinal cord to the shoulder and arm and are responsible for movement and feeling in the arms. When these nerves are damaged during the birthing process, they may result in paralysis in the arm. The brachial plexus nerves run from the neck to the arm, so if a surgeon or midwife pulls a baby’s arm before its head exists, the birth canal can further stretch and damage the nerves.

5. Congenital Scoliosis

Congenital scoliosis refers to a curvature of the spine. Congenital scoliosis is present in only 1 in 10,000 newborns and is less common than the type of scoliosis that develops in adolescence. Children with congenital scoliosis sometimes have other health issues, such as kidney or bladder problems. Scoliosis treatment depends on the degree of scoliosis curvature, but in most cases, a scoliosis brace and scoliosis surgery is the recommended treatment plan.


Experienced birth injury lawyers in Chicago, such as those at Schwaner Injury Law, can provide valuable legal advice and advocacy for parents of children harmed by medical errors during pregnancy, labor, the delivery process, or postnatal care. If you need professional help with your birth injury claim, visit their website for a free consultation on your case.

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