The Most Common Types of Birth Injuries

The arrival of a newborn should be a joyous occasion, marking the beginning of a new chapter in a family’s life. However, the birthing process is also a delicate one, where things can go wrong and result in various types of birth injuries. Understanding the most common types of birth injuries can help parents be better informed and take the necessary steps should they face such unfortunate circumstances. This post aims to shed light on the most frequent birth injuries that occur in South Carolina.

What Are Birth Injuries?

Birth injuries are physical damages that occur to a baby during labor and delivery. These injuries can range from minor bruises and scratches to more severe conditions that may have lifelong implications.

Brachial Plexus Injuries

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves controlling the muscles in the shoulder, arm, and hand. Damage to these nerves during birth, often resulting from excessive pulling, can lead to conditions like Erb’s Palsy or Klumpke’s Palsy. Affected infants may have weakness, lack of muscle control, or even total paralysis in the affected arm.


Fractured bones, particularly collarbones, are among the most common birth injuries. These fractures often occur during breech deliveries or complicated labors but usually heal without complications.


Cephalohematoma is the pooling of blood between a newborn’s skull and the periosteum (the membrane covering the bones). While it usually resolves on its own, it may sometimes require medical intervention.

Caput Succedaneum

This condition involves swelling of the soft tissues on the baby’s head as it travels through the birth canal. While typically harmless and self-resolving, it can sometimes lead to jaundice.

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

HIE occurs when there’s a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain. This can result in various neurological disorders, developmental issues, or even cerebral palsy. Prompt medical intervention is crucial in these cases.

Intracranial Hemorrhage

This is a severe condition involving bleeding under the baby’s skull. Intracranial hemorrhage often requires immediate medical attention and can have long-term neurological effects.

Signs to Watch For

Parents should be vigilant about observing their newborn for any signs of distress, immobility, or developmental delays. Should you notice anything out of the ordinary, consult with your pediatrician immediately.

Legal Aspects in South Carolina

In South Carolina, if you suspect that your child’s birth injury resulted from medical negligence, you may have the grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Such claims need to be substantiated with evidence that the healthcare provider deviated from standard care practices, leading to injury.


While not all birth injuries are preventable or the result of medical malpractice, being informed can help parents take quick action and make educated decisions. If you believe your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, consult a legal expert knowledgeable in South Carolina’s medical malpractice laws for specific guidance.

For more information and personalized advice, consult with legal professionals experienced in the realm of birth injuries and medical malpractice laws in South Carolina.