Oxygen supply is vital to brain health. If an infant experiences oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery due to asphyxiation, it can cause serious health problems, including impacts on their brain development.
One such outcome of this type of trauma is the development of a permanent, lifelong brain injury called cerebral palsy, a group of disorders that affects muscle tone, posture, and movement.
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Understanding Cerebral Palsy
Depending on the location and severity of a child’s brain injuries, cerebral palsy can manifest in a variety of symptoms. These may include:
- Difficulty with mobility and walking
- Painful muscle spasms
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing
- Issues with speech
- And more
Because there is no cure for cerebral palsy, children may experience symptoms for life. Treatment options may focus on decreasing pain and increasing independence and self-sufficiency. This may include surgery, medications, physical and occupational therapy, the use of a wheelchair, and other forms of treatment.
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Signs of Cerebral Palsy in a Child
Childbirth brain injuries are sometimes not discovered until enough time has passed for parents to monitor their child’s development. The following may be indications that an infant has cerebral palsy:
- Missing developmental milestones
- Difficulty raising the head, crawling, rolling over, or standing
- Muscles feel too tense or too loose
- Lack of coordination or strength in the legs
If you notice any of these potential cerebral palsy symptoms in your child, bring them to a doctor for an evaluation.
Other Types of Birth Injuries
Oxygen deprivation is one of the most serious types of birth trauma that an infant can experience because of the long-term impact it can have on the brain and other systems. However, it is not the only type of injury.
StatPearls Publishing reports that, as of 2012, the birth trauma rate is approximately 1.9 for every 1,000 live births. Some of the most common types of injuries are:
- Fractures: if a doctor is having trouble delivering a baby’s shoulder or if it is breech in the birth canal, the baby may suffer a bone fracture, particularly a fractured clavicle or collarbone.
- Brachial plexus injury: the brachial plexus is a group of nerves near the neck that controls the shoulder, arm, and hand movement. Injury to the brachial plexus may occur in cases where the doctor has trouble delivering the infant’s shoulder, and the brachial plexus nerves are stretched or torn, causing a condition known as Erb’s palsy.
- Facial paralysis: in some deliveries, pressure on the baby’s face can damage facial nerves. This can also occur in cases where the doctor uses forceps to try to assist the mother with delivery. If the nerves are torn, it can cause permanent damage and may require surgical intervention.
- Bruising and temporary marks: sometimes, because of the trauma of passing through the birth canal or because of tools that the doctor uses, the baby may be born with bruising and temporary markings.
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Recoverable Damages After a Birth Trauma
If a doctor’s negligence during prenatal care or delivery caused your child to suffer an injury, they may be liable for your damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The types of damages that you might be able to recover in this type of legal action depend on the details of the case, such as the severity of the injuries, the required treatments, and how the injuries impact your family. While no one can estimate your recoverable damages without first examining the details of your case, some common types of recoverable damages include:
- Medical costs like surgical procedures, anesthesia medication, hospital stays, physical therapy, and appointments with specialists
- The estimated future costs of medical care
- Out-of-pocket expenses you incurred because of your child’s injuries
- Lost wages from time you are spending away from work caring for your child
- Pain and suffering
- And more
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group May Be Able to Help You
If you believe that your infant’s birth trauma was caused by a healthcare provider’s negligence, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group may be able to help you pursue compensation in settlement negotiations or a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our investigation into your child’s injuries may utilize medical expert testimony to explain how birth trauma affected your child’s brain development and contributed to their injuries.
Keep in mind that each state has a statute of limitations, or legal time limit, for filing medical malpractice lawsuits. There may also be rules that extend the general deadlines for cases such as birth injuries where the victim is a child.
To discuss what specific deadlines apply to you, and for a free case review with a member of our team, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529. We may be able to represent you on a contingency-fee basis with no up-front payment necessary.