Childbirth can be both stressful and exciting. After hours of labor, the last thing you want to hear is that your child has been injured during childbirth. Unfortunately, fractures during childbirth can happen. The skin and bones of infants are extremely fragile, and if they are not handled carefully during the birth process, they can be injured. Most fractures during childbirth are preventable and result from negligence on the part of a healthcare provider.
Types of Fractures
Fractures and broken bones during childbirth can usually be prevented with the use of careful medical care. Doctors should be aware of the risk factors associated with infant fractures during childbirth and should take the proper precautions. Infant fractures include:
- Clavicle (Collarbone) Fractures—one of the most common types of bone fractures during childbirth, collarbone fractures can occur when a baby’s shoulder gets stuck on the pubic bone of the mother (shoulder dystocia). If care isn’t taken when delivering the baby in this situation, a fracture can occur. Collarbone fractures can also occur if a baby is born in a breech position.
- Skull Fractures—the improper use of assistive devices such as forceps can lead to skull fractures.
- Arm Fractures—excessive twisting or pulling of a baby during delivery can lead to arm fractures
- Leg Fractures—a less common type of fracture during childbirth, but a doctor pulling too hard on a baby while trying to deliver in a breech position can lead to a leg fracture
Symptoms of Infant Fractures
Broken bones in infants are not always easy to detect. A baby may be crying in pain but is unable to tell you where the pain is coming from. Some symptoms to look for include swelling around the area, inability to move the broken limb, deformity around the affected area, and crying for no apparent reason. When it comes to broken clavicles it’s important to look out for a droop in the shoulder on the affected side, crying when the affected area is touched or moved, and sometimes a small lump that can appear a few weeks after the injury.
Contact an Experienced Birth Injury Attorney
If your child sustained a fracture during childbirth, you should have an experienced and trusted attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping New Yorkers injured by medical malpractice. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.