Common Signs of a Birth InjuryFebruary 5, 2018
In the United States, most babies are born without any major problems or complications. However, when something does go wrong, the baby can suffer from a birth injury. There are several injuries that can occur during the labor and delivery process, some of which are caused by unexpected complications. Other injuries are due to negligence on the part of the healthcare professional who was responsible for your care. Regardless of the cause, it can be a parent’s worst nightmare.
Symptoms to Look For
Some injuries may not be evident until weeks, months, or even years after the delivery. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it may be a symptom of a birth injury:
- Bruising, swelling, or abrasions on the child’s head, face, or shoulders
- Seizures that occur within the first two days of birth
- Baby is in need of CPR or a breathing tube during delivery
- Infant does not begin breathing immediately following delivery
- Loose or limp arms, suggesting a lack of muscle tone
Certain injuries do not appear until later, so parents should pay close attention to whether their child is on track in the development process. The following are signs of a possible late birth injury:
- One Month Old: Feeds slowly, does not respond when a bright light is shined in their eyes, and limbs seem stiff or loose.
- Three Months Old: Does not respond to loud noises, has trouble grasping objects, and cannot support his or her head.
- Seven Months Old: Appears to have stiff, tight muscles, and cannot sit up without help.
- One Year Old: Cannot stand, even if supported, and cannot say simple words.
Examples of Birth Injuries
- Brachial plexus injury: This injury can occur when a mistake is made during delivery. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that runs from the tips of the fingers down to the spinal cord and thoracic vertebrae. The injury can cause nerve damage, and in extreme cases, a complete tearing of the nerve root from the spinal cord.
- Cerebral palsy: This can be caused by oxygen deprivation during labor, prematurity, or medical negligence, including a failure to diagnose and treat jaundice.
- Spina bifida: This occurs when the embryonic neural tube fails to seal itself before birth. As a result, malformations may occur at the base of the spine.
- Cerebral ischemia: A reduced blood flow to the brain can cause brain cell failure within minutes. This may be caused by an infection, maternal overmedication, or shoulder dystocia.
- Pulmonary hypertension: When the pulmonary artery is not functioning properly, blood circulation bypasses the lungs, making it difficult for the baby to breathe.
- Cephalohematoma: When forceps are used improperly, it can cause bleeding between the skull and the periosteum.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Birth Injuries
If your child suffered a birth injury during labor or delivery, the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are on your side. We will thoroughly investigate your case and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. If negligence was involved, we will fight to make sure that the healthcare professional responsible for your care is held liable. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.