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Bone injuries caused by birth trauma

While most Florida parents experience normal deliveries, there are instances where the baby could suffer trauma during the birth. Babies that were born with excessive birth weights or experienced a breech delivery are at risk for suffering fractures to certain bones.

One of the most commonly injured bones during delivery is the clavicle, or collarbone. While there is evidence to suggest that clavicle fractures are associated with midforceps deliveries and excessive birth weight, normal deliveries can also result in these fractures. An infant suffering from a fractured collarbone may exhibit temporary paralysis and muscle spasms in the neck and shoulder. These injuries usually heal within 10 days. The long bones of the arm and leg are also sometimes fractured during delivery. The infant may exhibit random arm or leg movements and show signs of swelling. The injury often requires splinting but usually heals within four weeks.

A third common bone injury that infants are at risk for suffering is an epiphysial displacement. This is when the epiphyses of the humeral or femoral bones become hypertrophied and separate. An infant with this type of injury may exhibit swelling around the shoulder or hip. Because motion is painful, the infant may not move the affected arm or leg. While the injury is not immediately visible on radiography, the callus that forms becomes visible within 10 days.

All infants are at risk for suffering a birth injury during their delivery. However, if the injury was directly caused by a negligent doctor or other health care professional, the family of the injured infant may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim. In order to be eligible, however, the family must have sustained harm. An attorney may determine if the family has a case based on the infant's medical records.

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