A birth injury refers to the physical injury that a baby suffered from during or soon after the birthing process.
A common misconception is that the birth injury is a defect. Birth injuries are primarily caused by medical negligence.
And few can be mild and can be overcome by little care while a few can be quite severe, and some can turn out to be life-threatening.
In either case there are birth injury diagnosis & treatment for your child depending on their specific injury and its severity.
Some of the common birth injuries are:
- Bruising and swelling of the head
- Bleeding in cranial bones
- Facial nerve injury that happens because of labor pressure on baby’s face
- Fracture of collarbone or clavicle
- Breaking off small blood vessels especially in baby’s eyes
Research says that out of every 1000 children, approximately 7 children would be prone to suffer a birth injury.
However, all thanks to the latest technology, a significant number of birth injuries can be successfully avoided.
GENERAL BIRTH INJURY STATISTICS
- Every year in the United States, approximately 30,000 newly born babies have some or the other form of birth injury. This means that every 20 minutes, a baby is born who has a birth injury.
- Birth injuries are seen more in male babies as compared to female babies. Birth injury rate per 1000 births for boys is approximately 6.9 as compared to 5.1 for girls.
- Of all the reported birth injuries, a very nominal percentage is classified as ‘minor birth injury.’ 80% of these birth injuries are labeled as ‘moderate to severe.’ These include injuries like nerve damage, broken bones, and brain damage.
- Infant Mortality Rates for every 100,000 live births is approximately 586 in the USA. The top 3 reasons for Infant Mortality are low birth weight, congenital malformations, and sudden infant death syndrome.
- Of all the infant fatalities, the percentage that birth injuries account for is 20%. This means that out of every 100,000 babies born, because of some birth injury, 135 of them will not survive.
STATISTICS RELATED TO BIRTH INJURY BECAUSE OF PREMATURE DELIVERY
- Preterm birth rates are quite high amongst women who are younger than 20 years and older than 35 years.
- Preterm birth rates are comparably higher amongst rural population or socially disadvantaged populations such as women who received negligent prenatal care, have a low level of education, and such.
- Of total preterm births taken place in the USA, multiple gestations report for about 10%.
STATISTICS RELATED TO BIRTH INJURIES BECAUSE OF FETAL WEIGHT
- Infants who weigh less than 5.5 lbs. i.e., 2500 gms at birth gets classified as low birth-weight infants.
- Those fetuses which weighed over 8.8 lbs, i.e., 4000 gms, have a higher risk of being born with a birth injury.
SUCCESS RATES OF BIRTH INJURY TREATMENTS
The symptoms of birth injuries vary from child to child.
Also, every type of birth injury gets treated differently.
Few birth injuries can be overcome in months, while few would require lifelong treatment.
Here are more details about the same:
Erb’s Palsy: Erb’s Palsy is paralysis of the arm. It is caused because of shoulder dystocia that usually takes place during a difficult birth. Erb’s Palsy has a stronger rate of full recovery when compared with other injuries. There are chances of 80%-96% of children who are born with some kind of nerve condition to recover fully.
Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral Palsy is a permanent moment disorder that can take place right from early childhood. Symptoms typically include stiff muscles, tremors, weak muscles, and poor coordination. The child would have issues with hearing, speaking, vision, sensation, and swallowing. Unfortunately, to date, researchers have found no complete treatment for Cerebral Palsy.1
Brain Damage: In cases where the child has severe or moderate brain damage, the treatment can last for years or even a lifetime. But in some cases, the treatment can be done in months.
Physical Injuries: During a difficult delivery, a child can incur physical injuries such as broken bones, skull fractures, or lacerations. While many times these injuries can be labeled as minor. While, some can also lead to more severe injuries like bleeding in the brain, thus causing hemorrhage or subdural hematoma, which can last a lifetime.