Broken bones and fractures are common injuries to newborns
The birth of a baby can turn into a stressful and emotional time for parents when the infant suffers a broken bone or fracture.
Broken collarbones, or fractured clavicles, are among the most common injuries sustained by newborn babies, according to a Romper.com report. And these types of birth injuries sometimes are linked to negligence or careless behavior by healthcare providers.
The Romper article quotes a pediatric physical therapist who states that cases of newborn collar fracture generally result from moving through the birth canal. A larger-than-average infant moving through the birth canal is more prone to a clavicle injury than a smaller baby.
But any infant – no matter the size – may suffer this type of a bone break if the shoulder gets stuck during birth, if the baby is moving through a narrow birth canal or if medical professionals are using tools such as forceps or a vacuum to assist with the birthing process, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Other risk factors include babies who are born prematurely or born feet first (breech birth) and mothers who undergo a prolonged labor.
A baby with a fractured clavicle often is unable to move his or her arm. That’s because the infant may have suffered an injury to the brachial plexus, which occurs when the nerves in the neck behind the collarbone are damaged. Sadly, some infants with this type of injury will never be able to move their arm normally.
Signs that your newborn may have a broken collarbone include fussiness or crying when moving an arm. According to Nationwide Children’s, the baby may cry when being lifted under his or her arms. You may notice your baby is not moving one arm, or an arm may hang limp at one side.
Signs your baby has suffered a collarbone fracture
Here are other symptoms of a fracture to the collarbone, according to KidsHealth:
- Your child’s shoulder is slumping or sagging down and forward
- You notice bruising along the collarbone
- You see a bulge or deformity on the collarbone where the break occurred
Your baby’s broken clavicle may heal without any long-term problems. But bone fragments from the break could travel elsewhere and cause potentially permanent nerve damage or even damage to the veins and arteries, leading to bleeding.
While a broken collarbone is the most common type of fracture, negligence can also result in fractures to the skull (often related to a forceps delivery) or arms and legs if the medical provider pulls the infant with too much force during delivery.
Even if the baby’s fracture heals, your family may be left with expensive bills. Complications from a bone break during childbirth can lead to steep medical bills that could create significant financial hardship.
If your child sustained a fracture to his or her clavicle or collarbone during delivery, you should contact an experienced birth injury attorney. Contact Tyrone Law Firm today for a free and confidential consultation. We provide experienced legal assistance to families across Georgia.