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What are the most common types of birth injuries?

When something goes wrong during the birthing process, babies can suffer serious injuries. Although birth injuries can happen naturally due to no one's fault, sometimes they happen because a doctor, medical staff or a medical facility committed negligence. Because injured babies and their parents may be able to pursue financial compensation in court, it's important to know what caused their baby to get hurt in any birth injury case.

Here are some of the most common types of birth injuries that parents should watch out for.

Facial paralysis: Some babies experience facial paralysis caused by nerve tearing or nerve bruising during delivery. This could be the result of forceps. In some cases, surgery is required to resolve the condition.

Caput succedaneum: Commonly called "caput," this condition refers to swelling in the scalp of the baby. This swelling can happen as the baby passes through the birth canal. Babies may also have bruising of the scalp. Vacuum extraction is often the cause of this condition which -- in the majority of cases -- resolves several days after birth.

Cephalohematoma: Cephalohematoma is a condition that results in bleeding beneath the cranial bones. It may show up as a raised area on the head of the baby. The condition usually resolves within three months or much sooner.

Subconjunctival hemorrhage: Subconjunctival hemorrhage happens when blood vessels in the baby's eyes break. The condition usually resolves within 10 days.

Brachial palsy: Brachial palsy happens as a result of damage to the nerves in the shoulder area. The baby's entire arm or hand could be limp, bruised or swollen as a result. In some cases, the damage is permanent, and, in other cases, the babies will recover full movement capabilities.

Fractured bones: Babies may suffer a collarbone fracture or some other kind of fracture during delivery. This break will usually start to heal quickly in the first couple of weeks after delivery.

Bruising: Some babies suffer from trauma and bruising of the head and face after going through the birth canal. Others show this trauma as a result of a doctor's use of forceps or vacuum extraction.

If your baby suffered from a birth injury, you may want to learn more about your legal rights and options. If another party is liable for the injury, you may be able to pursue money to help pay for your baby's medical care.

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