What is Birth Injury?

Birth injuries include any damages to a newborn during childbirth. Traumatic birth injuries can either result from the strong forces generated by labor itself or from the pressures of attempting to deliver the baby. Birth injury is most commonly characterized by damages to the brain or skull.

Birth Injury and Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is one of the most serious conditions caused by traumatic birth injuries and medical malpractice during labor and delivery. Cerebral palsy’s most common causes are a) hypoxia at birth (a lack of oxygen to the brain), b) ischemia (decreased blood flow to the brain), and c) trauma and hemorrhage—birth trauma is often the cause of these injuries. Unfortunately, the negligence of medical professionals during labor and delivery is sometimes at the root of the birth trauma injuries that lead to cerebral palsy.

For instance, the following are acts of medical malpractice that may cause cerebral palsy:

  • Failure to perform emergency C-sections or plan surgical deliveries in advance
  • Failure of medical professionals to correctly monitor fetal distress signals
  • Failure to detect size incompatibilities between the baby and the mother’s pelvis
  • Failure to properly diagnose and treat maternal infections during the pregnancy
  • Negligent use of delivery assistance instruments such as vacuum extractors and forceps

Types of Birth Injuries

Although there are a number of birth complications that may lead to cerebral palsy, this section will focus on those cases of cerebral palsy caused by birth trauma. We encourage you to read through our resources to better understand your child’s cerebral palsy and the legal actions necessary to find the support you deserve. The birth trauma injuries and scenarios that may lead to cerebral palsy include:

  1. Intracranial Hemorrhages (Brain Bleeds)
  2. Vacuum Extractors and Forceps
  3. Hyperstimulation and Strong Contractions
  4. Post Term Pregnancy
  5. Periventricular Leokomalacia (PVL)

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