Every 20 minutes, a baby is born with a birth injury, equaling 30,000 newborns every year or an average of 500 per week. While the percentage is considered small, the impact on parents and children is significant.
The most common birth injuries include:
- Nerve damage, with the most common being brachial plexus injuries
- Bone fractures are caused by challenging vaginal deliveries, with the most common injury being a broken clavicle
- Brain injuries due to a lack of oxygen or blood to the brain, damaging or killing brain cells that do not regenerate, leading to lifetime medical issues that include cerebral palsy
Breaking down the statistics reveals that males are more likely to have birth injuries than females, primarily due to the difference in size. Per 1,000 deliveries, boys are at 6.9, with girls coming in at 5.1. Playing a role in birth injuries are vacuum-assisted deliveries. Nearly 59 of 10,000 of these births result in brain bleeds and other damage.
Even more alarming, a small number of injuries are considered minor, while more than 80 percent are moderate to severe, taking the form of brain damage, nerve damage, and broken bones. When it comes to infant mortality rates in the US, the numbers are little less than 600 for every 100,000 live births, with infants suffering from low birth weight to sudden death syndrome.
Birth injuries continue to account for one-fifth of infant fatalities, with an overall total of 20,912 annually. Even more alarming, the pace of birth injuries continues to grow year after year for multiple consecutive decades.
A “blessed event” can turn tragic when medical professionals fall short in their delivery room duties. A child’s life is forever changed, necessitating help from an attorney to hold hospitals and their staff accountable.