The causes of newborn hypotonia vary, although it is almost always related to an abnormality or medical condition that affects the central or peripheral nervous system. It is also a symptom of a more systemic condition. The abnormalities that trigger newborn hypotonia can include:
- Genetic disorders
- Endocrine system disorders
- Metabolic disease
- Some types of illness or infection
- Muscular dystrophies and other myopathies
- Preventable birth injuries related to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
Newborn hypotonia is sometimes called floppy infant syndrome because the baby has poor motor control, is not able to maintain posture, and feels almost like a ragdoll.
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The Most Common Causes of Newborn Hypotonia
One study, published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), found that the most common causes of central hypotonia included:
- Intracranial hemorrhage
- Central nervous system abnormalities
- Chromosomal disorders
- Metabolic diseases
These were seen in almost 80% of the infants who participated in the study. Meanwhile, the causes of peripheral hypotonia included spinal muscular atrophy and myopathy. In about 10% of cases, no underlying cause could be identified.
The outcomes for these children also varied widely. About three out of 10 died, most during their infancy. A little less than 50% were diagnosed with some type of developmental disorder, and 22% achieved normal development and grew up with few signs of their previous condition.
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When Medical Malpractice May Be to Blame
Addressing your child’s medical concerns may require you to act as their advocate and fight for the therapies and resources they need to live the best life possible. If your child has hypotonia or other symptoms of an underlying condition, you need to find out what caused it.
In many cases, you may find that their diagnosis occurred due to a preventable birth injury. If so, one part of advocating on your child’s behalf can include holding their doctor or the hospital responsible. This may allow you to recover compensation to help provide them with the care and support they need.
Pursuing a Birth Injury Case Based on You Child’s Diagnosis
When the underlying cause is something like cerebral palsy, HIE, or neonatal stroke, the injuries may have been preventable. At the very least, a doctor should have recognized that a complication was occurring and taken steps to avoid any permanent damage.
If you believe your child’s birth injury occurred because of medical negligence, you may have a case against the doctor or the care facility where they were born. Doctors and other care providers have a duty to provide a certain level of care, and any deviation from that could constitute medical malpractice.
Working with an attorney will allow you to continue to focus on your child’s best interests while seeking compensation to pay for their needs. Our birth injury attorneys represent families like yours based on contingency. This means we get paid as a percentage of your recovered payout, never upfront from your family. At no out-of-pocket cost to you, we can help you:
- Assign liability
- Build a strong case
- Obtain an expert’s review of your child’s relevant records
- Navigate the system to pursue a just settlement.
Newborn Hypotonia Can Affect Babies into Childhood
What causes newborn hypotonia is important to identify, because these children may require medication, surgery, therapies, and other treatment to address their underlying needs and ensure the best quality of life. These babies often experience:
- Delayed development related to motor skills
- Difficulty with both gross and fine motor skills
- Poor coordination and balance
- Difficulty with posture while sitting or standing
- Unwanted movements and movement patterns
- An increased range of motion in their joints
While newborn hypotonia itself can cause a number of symptoms, their underlying condition can lead to additional concerns. For example, children with cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy may be unable to feed themselves or dress themselves. Teaching them alternative ways and tricks to fasten the button or lift a spoon could offer greater self-esteem and independence.
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Speak with an Attorney Today for Free
Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for your complimentary case review and assessment. We can determine if you have a case against the doctor or hospital responsible for your child’s birth injury and answer your questions. You can get help today by calling (800) 222-9529 now.