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INJURY DEFINITIONS
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Injury Definitions

Birth Injuries

Occasionally, during the birth process, a baby may suffer a physical injury that is simply a natural result of being born. Other birth injuries, however, can be caused by the negligence of the hospital, Physician or nurse before, during and following labor.
Demonstrative evidence medical timeline
The following are common birth injuries: brain damage, caput succedaneum (severe swelling of the soft tissues of the baby's scalp), cephalohematoma (an area of bleeding between the bone and its fibrous covering), bruising/forceps marks, subconjunctival hemorrhage (the breakage of small blood vessels in the eyes of a baby), facial paralysis (injury to the facial nerve), brachial palsy (the group of nerves that supplies the arms and hands is injured), and fractures. A birth injury typically occurs because of the baby's size or the position of the baby during labor and delivery.

Newborn in incubatorA common birth injury that affects the baby's brain is referred to as cerebral palsy. This can be caused by a lack of oxygen to the baby's brain shortly before, during, or immediately after delivery. Damage to the brain can result in quadriplegia.

To prevent birth injuries it is important the physician and the nurses carefully monitor the woman's labor and pay careful attention to the fetal heart monitor that can alert the health care provider of fetal distress. If fetal distress is detected and promptly acted upon, the chances of severe or permanent brain injury is greatly reduced. Treatment depends on the type of birth injury sustained. Some birth injuries heal within a few weeks, while others result in lifelong problems.

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