Bone Fracture in Newborns

Tracy Ray | December 18th, 2012

Bone injuries and fractures are among the most common birth injuries: an estimated 1 in 1,000 newborns suffers a bone injury or fracture. Such injuries can occur during delivery or immediately after birth. Some fractures may be obvious immediately, but in other cases, it may take days before the problem reveals itself.

Fractures can occur when the doctors or nurses involved in the birth use too much force in attempting to deliver the baby, use improper techniques or misuse instruments, or mishandle the infant after birth. In such cases, they may be liable for medical malpractice. In such cases, the expert attorneys at Balkin & Eisbrouch can pursue justice for the child, expose the medical malpractice and hold the responsible parties liable, and recover financial damages for the child’s care via a birth injury lawsuit.

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Different kinds of newborn bone fractures

The most commonly seen kind of bone fracture in newborns is a clavicle (collarbone) fracture, which may happen during difficult deliveries, such as when the baby is in a breech position, and the attending physician must use special instruments or techniques to deliver the child. Misuse of these techniques or instruments can cause a fracture.

Infants may also suffer skull, arm or leg fractures. Skull fractures may occur due to misuse or forceps or vacuum extraction, while arm and leg fractures can happen if the doctor pulls too forcefully in attempting to delivery the child. This is a particular risk in cases of shoulder dystocia, when the baby’s head is stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone.

Symptoms and treatment of newborn bone fractures

Symptoms of bone fracture in the newborn include not moving a certain limb, crying whenever the area is touched, and bruising in the area. In some cases, these symptoms are not immediately obvious, and it may take several days for parents to realize something is wrong. A diagnosis of bone fracture can be made with a CT scan, an MRI, or X-rays. Treatment ranges from letting a minor injury heal on its own, to ice packs and splints for moderate injuries, to multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy for severe fractures.

If your baby suffered a bone fracture as the result of malpractice on the part of the medical professionals overseeing the birth, call Balkin & Eisbrouch for a free evaluation of your case. You may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your child’s pain and suffering and medical expenses through litigation. There is no cost to you unless we recover damages for you.