Bone fractures in newborn infants are mainly caused during delivery. The risk for bone fractures increases with the complexity of the delivery; however, a bone fracture may occur for a variety of reasons, including breech delivery, size of infant and infant’s head, surgical instrument use, or a small pelvis.
While many bone fractures that occur during delivery heal within weeks, some fractures can cause lasting effects on spinal health, growth plate development, nerve function, and muscle function. A group of researchers, HögBurg and colleagues, believe that underestimation of birth fractures due in part to a lack of diagnosis is an issue. They set out to determine what contributes to fractures in neonates.
Using data from almost 2 million births within Sweden over the course of thirteen years, they found that a difficult birth was the main cause of a fracture, with clavicle fractures being the most common. Some risk factors for a clavicle fracture include short maternal height, shoulder dystocia, and vacuum delivery. All cases of rib fractures occurred with a clavicle fracture, and are believed to be underreported. While the majority of long bone fractures were caused by accidents after birth, a baby in the breech position is a risk factor for a long bone fracture during delivery (HögBurg et al, 2020).
Not every incident of a broken bone results in a medical malpractice lawsuit; however, it’s possible your baby was injured because a doctor was negligent, used excessive force, or improperly implemented surgical tools. The Holton Law Firm is ready to meet with you, investigate the evidence, and help you recover for your baby’s injuries if negligence occurred. To discuss your case with an experienced legal team, give us a call today.