Birth Injury

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.

Birth Injury


an injury to organs and tissues sustained by an infant during birth. Birth injuries are usually caused by irregular labor contractions, the elasticity of the fetal tissues, and the lowering of the fetus’s hypoergy and reduced adjustment. Predisposing factors include toxicoses of pregnancy, cardiovascular disease of the mother, infections suffered during pregnancy, metabolic disturbances, and premature and post-term birth. Fetal asphyxia commonly results in birth injury.

The most common birth injuries are intracranial hemorrhages, fractures of the clavicles and the humerus, pareses of the facial nerve, and paralyses of the brachial plexus. Of major clinical significance are intracranial birth injuries accompanied by damage to the central nervous system; such injuries include brain edema and intracranial hemorrhages (most often the consequence of severe fetal asphyxia). There are mild, medium, and severe degrees of intracranial birth injury. The last leads to death of the newborn in the first hours or days after birth or to the development of stable organic changes in the central and peripheral nervous systems (mental retardation, paralyses, pareses). In the acute period of intracranial trauma there are symptoms of excitation of the central nervous system. These symptoms include general restlessness, crying, accelerated convulsive breathing, convulsions, and insomnia. Suppression of the sucking and swallowing reflexes is also observed. The period of excitation is replaced by a state of depression marked by general sluggishness, decreased muscle tone, weak crying, and pallor. Frequent attacks of secondary asphyxia are characteristic.

Rest is prescribed for a newborn that has sustained birth injuries. The infant is fed expressed mother’s milk through a probe. An ice bag is applied to the child’s head, and oxygen therapy is used. Vitamins, glucose, cardiac and vascular agents, preparations that decrease the excitability of the central nervous system, and antihemorrhagics may be prescribed. Children who have suffered birth injury need observation by a pediatrician, a neuropathologist, and an orthopedist.

Birth injuries can be prevented through the timely detection and treatment of complications and diseases of pregnant women and through proper delivery procedures, which take into consideration the condition of the fetus.


Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po akusherstvu i ginekologii, vol. 3, part 3. Moscow, 1964.


Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
There were significant differences between the groups, with the lowest incidence of birth injury in the upper limb seen for infants weighing 2,501-3,500 g (p=0.
Ben Hoare Bell LLP's team, led by Andrew Kelly, is experienced in areas such as birth injury, orthopaedic delays, and surgery and treatment delays relating to cancer diagnosis.
The birth injury fund "would avoid lawsuits where the problem could be solved another way.
Therefore, they suggested that the role of birth injury as an etiologic factor in nasal septal deformities in newborns is unclear.
In: O'Leary J(ed): Shoulder Dystocia and Birth Injury.
The concept is similar in some respects, to the birth injury program already established in Florida and Virginia, she says.
The primary outcomes were a birth weight above the 90th percentile, a primary cesarean section, neonatal hypoglycemia, and fetal hyperinsulinemia; secondary outcomes were preterm birth, shoulder dystocia or a birth injury, the need for intensive neonatal care, hyperbilirubinemia, and preeclampsia.
The court held, inter alia, that although Florida has a neurological birth injury law, which the Macris failed to invoke, there was an exception in the law regarding claims made for 'willful and wanton' conduct.
The case was the longest running birth injury case in Ireland with it before the courts for 59 days.
Birth injury medical negligence cases present unique challenges.
Isolated phrenic nerve palsy is a rare condition resulting from birth injury, with many possible complications such as diaphragmatic paralysis, pulmonary infection, chronic lung disease, growth failure and even death.