The Other TBI

When you think TBI, you probably think of traumatic brain injuries. But what do you know about the other type of TBI: traumatic birth injuries?

What are traumatic birth injuries?

A traumatic birth injury is an injury that occurs during birth. Injuries often affect the baby’s soft tissues and organs. These injuries occur as a result of pressure or improper procedures during childbirth. The chances of a birth injury increase if:

  • The baby weighs more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces
  • The baby is born before the 37th week of pregnancy
  • The mother’s pelvis isn’t shaped properly for a safe delivery
  • The labor is prolonged
  • The baby is in an abnormal fetal position at birth
  • The delivery is difficult

Common injuries to the baby include head injuries like caput succedaneum and cephalohematoma. However, these tend to resolve on their own within a few weeks. Nerve damage and fractured bones are also common. Spinal cord injuries are rare, but can result in stillbirth. Similarly, brain injuries during birth cause a lack of oxygen, which can lead to death or serious effects.

Birth injuries and medical malpractice

To prevent a birth injury, it is important to have the assistance of a competent and experienced doctor or other birthing professional. Due to the increased use of ultrasonography, the rate of babies dying from traumatic birth injuries has dropped by 88% since the 1980s. In some cases, cesarean births (c-sections) can also be beneficial in the prevention of traumatic birth injuries. C-sections are particularly helpful if the mother’s pelvis has an abnormal shape. For larger babies, c-sections can also prevent injuries, as birthing larger babies may involve birthing tools like vacuums or forceps, which can cause injury if used too forcefully.

As seen above, birth injuries can be the result of natural factors. They are not always the fault of doctors, nurses, or other professionals. However, if it is believed that a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional act improperly and did not adhere to the standard of care, therefore causing the injury, then it could lead to a medical malpractice case.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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