We may not like to think about the possibility of our children being born with defects, but it can be a harsh truth. What is worse, sometimes these defects are the direct result of medical negligence. Below we discuss some common birth injuries.


Cephalohematoma is an area of bleeding underneath one of the cranial bones. It can often appear a few hours after birth as a lump on the baby’s head. Over time, however, the baby’s body resorbs the blood. Dependant on size, most cephalohematomas take roughly two to twelve weeks to vanish completely.

Bruising or Forceps Marks

Some babies may show signs of bruising on the head or face simply as a result of the trauma of passing though the birth canal. When forceps are used to assist with delivery, it can leave temporary bruising on the baby’s head and face.

Subconjunctival Haemorrhage

This is the breakage of small blood vessels in the eyes of a baby. The eye/s may have a bright red circle in the white of the eye. Subconjunctival haemorrhages are relatively common, and they do not cause damage to the eyes. The redness is typically absorbed in seven to ten days.


Fracture of the collarbone or clavicle is a common fracture that is sustained during labour and delivery. The collarbone has the chance of breaking when there are issues delivering the baby’s shoulder, or through a breech delivery. A baby that fractures its collarbone in this way seldom moves the arm on the side of the break. Even so, healing can occur quickly. As new bone forms, a bump on the collarbone often develops within a few days. If the fracture is painful, restrictive measures such as applying a bandage or soft splint may be necessary.

Paul du Plessis Attorneys

Paul du Plessis Attorneys provide specialized medico-legal services to clients who have suffered an injury at the hands of another. We combine personal care and empathy with experience and in-depth legal and medical knowledge to provide service that is geared to successful claims. Contact us today for all medical negligence cases.

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