Birth Injury Symptoms and Your Rights
Birth injuries can take on many different forms, including cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injuries, Erb’s palsy, brain injuries, broken bones, or even death. Depending on the nature of a birth injury, many babies are able to make a full recovery with time and medical treatment. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and many children suffer effects that last for the rest of their lives.
Given that there are so many different types of birth injuries, there are also a lot of different symptoms of birth injuries. Each type of injury is going to have its own unique symptoms and while some symptoms are easy to notice right away, others won’t start to show until weeks, months, or even years after birth.
Some symptoms of birth injuries show in ways related to the child’s overall health. A child with a birth injury might have a difficult time gaining weight, some degree of hearing loss, low heart rate, fever, anemia, jaundice, a persistent cough or wheezing, hypertension or hypotension, low blood oxygen levels, or skin that appears waxy or exceptionally pale. In many cases, the child has a hard time keeping food down, difficulty breathing, or experiences seizures.
Other types of symptoms can be seen in a child’s behavior. They might be excessively fussy when there aren’t any other noticeable reasons for them to be, have a high-pitched cry, demonstrate a sensitivity to light, drool excessively, have a difficult time eating or swallowing, or be lethargic. Since birth injuries often impact a child’s muscles and bones, you may also notice a child has muscle spasms, limp muscles, a tendency to favor one side of the body, have weak reflexes, have weak or writing movements, or have a hand that curls up in a claw-like shape.
As a child grows, a birth injury might make it difficult or impossible for them to meet their developmental milestones as expected. It can be harder for them to develop the motor skills they need to walk normally, hold spoons or forks, or dress themselves. Speech-related issues are very commonly associated with birth injuries. Generally speaking, a child might not have a full range of motion, have poor coordination, or tend to pull their neck. In many cases, birth injuries result in intellectual disabilities, memory problems, have a difficult time developing logical thinking skills, or tend to throw drastic tantrums.
In addition to the types of symptoms already mentioned, if a child has sustained a brain injury during labor or delivery, they could have distorted facial features, a stiff neck, an unusually-shaped spine, or a smaller-than-normal head. They could also a hard time sleeping while lying down, understanding languages, remembering information, or focusing their eyes.
If you suspect your child may be suffering from a birth injury, it’s very important to contact an experienced birth trauma lawyer as soon as possible. Birth injuries are a type of medical malpractice, which can be very complicated, particularly if you didn’t begin to suspect there was an injury until months or years after delivery. A lawyer will be able to help you understand what legal options are available to you and your child.