A skilled, experienced and trusted legal team that will fight to get you maximum compensation.

Photo of attorneys Ballard and Headley

3 ways newborns suffer brain injuries at birth

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2023 | Medical Malpractice |

Life has many milestones, and few are as exciting as expecting a baby. But both the pregnancy and delivery processed also result in their share of risks. One of these is the risk of an injury to a fetal or infant brain. In fact, studies show that nearly 8 out of 1000 infants suffer some form of brain injury before or during birth.

Generally, most head and brain injuries that occur at birth are preventable, particularly those attributable to legally-actionable negligence. Here are three complications that can lead to brain injury to a fetus before or during birth.

Umbilical cord complications

The umbilical cord is the fetal lifeline in the womb. If the cord gets wrapped around the neck of a fetus (a condition known as the nuchal cord), the brain may be deprived of oxygen. This can, in turn, lead to a range of complications like developmental delays, heart issues, meconium aspiration syndrome or even infant mortality. Umbilical cord problems can often be detected and corrected during labor or prenatal care. If this does not happen, leading to injuries to your child, then you can potentially hold a negligent facility or healthcare provider liable.


From chorioamnionitis to Group B Strep (GBS), sepsis, E.Coli and herpes simplex virus, a mother can suffer a range of infections during the pregnancy period. Left undiagnosed and treated, certain infections can reach the fetus. GBS and chorioamnionitis, for instance, can lead to meningitis; and this can have a long-term effect on an infant’s central nervous system.

Vacuum extraction

A vacuum extractor is a cup-like device that is used to aid the delivery process. Used improperly, this device can damage veins in the infant’s head and lead to a condition known as subgaleal hemorrhage. A vacuum extractor can also cause intracranial hemorrhage, head and spinal cord injuries and stroke.

When a mother goes into labor, she likely looks forward to delivering a healthy bundle of joy. However, mistakes happen. If your baby suffers a preventable injury to the head during birth, it’s important to seek legal guidance in order to make informed decisions about your options.