A birth injury is a medical condition that has been caused by the birthing process, while a birth defect (also known as a congenital disability) is an abnormality in one or more body parts that occurs at or before birth. Birth injuries often include a tear or fracture of the amniotic sac, which results in the baby being exposed to infection and air. A pre-term infant may be born with an injury to the umbilical cord and internal organs, which can cause sepsis. There are many causes of birth injuries: prolonged labor, premature birth, obesity, breech presentation, and use of forceps during delivery.
Birth injuries are the leading cause of death for children in the United States and other industrialized countries. The leading causes of death are:
1) cerebral palsy
2) low Apgar scores while in the hospital
3) Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
4) congenital heart defects
5) Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)