Incidence of Neonatal Birth Injuries and Related Factors in Kashan, Iran


Trauma Research Center, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, IR Iran



Birth injuries are defined as the impairment of neonatal body function due to adverse events that occur at birth and can be avoidable or inevitable. Despite exact prenatal care, birth trauma usually occurs, particularly in long and difficult labor or fetal malpresentations.

This study aimed to investigate the incidence of birth injuries and their related factors in Kashan, Iran, during 2012-2013.

Patients and Methods
In this cross-sectional study, all live-born neonates in the hospitals of Kashan City were assessed prospectively by a checklist included demographic variables (maternal age, weight, and nationality), reproductive and labor variables (prenatal care, parity, gestational age, premature rupture of membrane (PROM), fetal heart rate (FHR) pattern, duration of PROM, induction of labor, fundal pressure, shoulder dystocia, fetal presentation, duration of second stage, type of delivery, and delivery attendance), and neonatal variables (sex, birth weight, height, head circumference, Apgar score, and neonatal trauma). Birth trauma was diagnosed based on pediatrician or resident examination and in some cases confirmed by paraclinic methods. Statistical analyses were performed by chi-square, student’s t-test, and multiple logistic regression analyses using SPSS version 17. P ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

In this study, the incidence of birth trauma was 2.2%. Incidence of trauma was 3.6% in vaginal deliveries and 1.2% in cesarean sections (P < 0.0001). The most common trauma was cephalohematoma (57.2%) and then asphyxia (16.8%). In multiple logistic regression analyses, decreased fetal heart rate (FHR), fundal pressure, shoulder dystocia, vaginal delivery, male sex, neonatal weight, delivery by resident, induction of labor, and delivery in a teaching hospital were predictors of birth trauma.

Overall, incidence of birth trauma in Kashan City was lower in comparison with most studies. Considering existing risk factors, further monitoring on labor, and delivery management in teaching hospitals are recommended to prevent birth injuries. In addition, careful supervision on students and residents' training should be applied in teaching hospitals.