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What Is the Most Common Birth Injury?

We've talked here before about the various types of birth injuries, and in some cases long-lasting disabilities, that can occur to a baby as he or she is being born. Of all of the injuries that can occur during childbirth, however, the most common involve clavicle (collarbone) fractures.

These can happen for a number of reasons:

  • During breach deliveries
  • When a baby experiences shoulder dystocia from getting stuck during the birth process
  • Because of tools used during childbirth

Clavicle fractures aren't always immediately obvious. If a baby moves one arm less than the other or if one arm hangs lower than the other, these could be symptoms of this type of injury. It can be diagnosed with an ultrasound or x-ray.

If a newborn has a clavicle fracture, treatment may not be necessary. However, it may be helpful if the sleeve of the arm that's been impacted is pinned to the baby's clothing to help keep it immobile as it heals.

Physicians can help prevent clavicle fractures by checking on the position of the baby in the days and weeks before the birth is scheduled to occur. Ultrasound images can help prevent fractures and other types of birth injuries.

A clavicle fracture isn't the most serious injury that a baby can experience during birth. However, properly diagnosis and treatment are important. People shouldn't have to pay even more in medical bills because a potential problem wasn't discovered when it could or should have been. If your baby was injured during childbirth, it may be wise to seek the advice of a Miami birth injury attorney to determine what your options are.

Source: Nationwide Children's Hospital, "Newborn Clavicle Fractures," accessed Nov. 10, 2015

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