Shocking Effects of a Birth Injury, How to Tell, and What to Do

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new hampshire birth injury

new hampshire birth injuryA birth injury is a very serious problem, and sometimes the effects of the injuries don’t show up for years. What is even more tragic is that negligence and poor judgment is the cause for preventable injuries of 6 to 8 out of 1,000 babies every year, according to Birth Injury Guide.

When this happens, there are many unexpected expenses that come out of the woodwork. Families are forced into paying outrageous medical costs that include not just doctor visits, but also medications, therapy, and equipment. Furthermore, if the injury caused severe damage, some parents find that their child needs them at home 24/7, so it is possible that the parent could take a very significant pay cut. It is likely that these children and their parents will be tied to social services for the rest of the child’s life. The pain and suffering that these individuals endure is ongoing, and the financial strain never goes away, and this is the reason compensation for these types of cases is among the highest.

SYMPTOMS OF BIRTH INJURY

There are several conditions that are caused by birth injuries. Some of them have obvious symptoms that show up right away, but some problems, such as learning disabilities, don’t show up for quite some time. It can be difficult to know for certain if the disorder is due to a birth injury or not, but if there is any concern, it is highly recommended that a qualified pediatrician should examine the child immediately. The longer these injuries go unchecked, the higher the likelihood that they can become permanent disabilities, disfigurement, trauma, or paralysis.

Most Common Conditions Caused by Birth Injuries

  1. Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy (Erb’s Palsy)

This condition affects the nerves and movement of the shoulder, arm, and hand. If the infant or toddler cannot move their fingers, it is highly possible that they could have damaged nerves.

  1. Facial Paralysis

If too much pressure is applied to an infant’s face before or during birth, they could develop a type of facial nerve palsy. All, half, or part of the face could become paralyzed. Blindness is also possible. However, the damage isn’t always due to forceps and pressure. It can also come from the epidural or medication that is used for or during labor. It could also come from the health of the mother and the length of her labor.

  1. Cerebral Palsy

Damage to the brain could be inflicted upon the child at any time from during pregnancy on up to delivery. Cerebral palsy is caused by any damage to the brain that causes any type of malformation, and it is possible that the child will struggle with muscle development and motor function that could even affect how they are able to hold their body. There are varying degrees of this, where the child may be able to function somewhat normally, but it could also be severe where the individual could struggle with even the most basic of functions. They may be unable to talk, walk, or feed themselves, among other things

  1. Cephalohematoma

The UBM Medica Network (UBM) actually reports that forceps is the main cause for cephalohematoma because the damaged blood vessels of the infant’s fragile cranium can be so easily damaged. When this happens, it can go undetected for some time due to no obvious laceration and the apparent normal behavior of the child. The issue here is that, despite everything looking fine, the head is actually bleeding underneath the skin in part of their skull. Cephalohematoma is finally detected after the bleeding pools and causes the head to bulge in a peculiar way, but by the time this happens, the bleeding is quite severe and the child needs to be taken to see a doctor right away. Less noticeable signs that parents should look for are anemia, jaundice, and signs of infection.

More About Symptoms

In addition to all of the important symptoms mentioned in this article, it is wise to pay close attention to your child’s development and make sure that they are reaching the major milestones for each age as they grow. This can have to do with their physical development, their social behavior, cognitive functioning, and their motor skills. The following items listed are just a few of the important symptoms to look out for, but not all milestones are included.

Behavior:

  • When they cry, do they arch their back?
  • Do they have difficulty breathing? (wheezing?)
  • Is it hard for them to eat?
  • Are they drooling more than normal?
  • Do they seem to fuss often, grunt a lot, or cry an alarmingly high-pitched cry more than an average baby?
  • Are they vomiting or showing signs of nausea/dizziness?
  • Are they moving as a healthy baby should?
  • Does light seem to significantly bother them?
  • Do they have seizures?
  • Do they show signs that something is wrong with their vision?
  • Do they seem to be hearing ok? (note: high-frequency hearing loss can be hard to detect)
  • Do they have spasms?
  • Do they act like their muscles are excessively stiff or loose?
  • Do they seem quite a bit weaker than should be expected for a baby their age?
  • How are their reflexes?
  • Do they move like they are writhing in pain?

Appearance:

  • Are they able to gain weight?
  • Is their skin a normal color (not abnormally wax-like or pale/orange/yellow/purple/blue)?
  • Do they have a strange tendency to hold their body in an odd bent shape or curl parts of the body?
  • Is their skull fractured?
  • Is there a hairy patch on their back?

Negative Impact on Health:

  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Hypertension/ Hypotension
  • Inflamed nasal passages
  • Low heart rate
  • Low oxygen levels in the blood
  • Constipation
  • Constant coughing
  • Headaches
  • Jaundice

Keep in mind that some birth injuries actually don’t show up until school, and they could have substantial difficulty with their cognition. These can show up in the form of social and learning disorders, and fine motor skills. Also, experts have recently come to find that there is a possible connection of birth injuries to ADD/ADHD. The University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine links autism to trauma during birth.

Seek Legal Support

When a birth injury occurs, it can be absolutely devastating to both the family and the child. The catastrophic consequences of medical malpractice cause heartache and financial strife for a lifetime. If you and your baby have been put into these very difficult circumstances, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney so that you can better understand your rights and determine the best path to justice and compensation that can help you persevere.   

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