What Parents Should Know About Birth Injury

According to Birth Injury Guide, an average of 3 children per hour are born with birth injuries in the United States. They appear in more Caucasians than blacks or Hispanics, and rural areas see 33% more than urban ones. Malpractice involving the use of instruments is frequently the cause. Symptoms such as breathlessness and difficulty swallowing may indicate an injury has occurred.

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Birth Injury

The list of possible birth injuries includes:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Perinatal Asphyxia
  • Cranial hemorrhaging
  • Fetal lacerations

Symptoms Identified Early May be Treatable

Symptoms may be immediately visible in the hospital. Others will be apparent within the first 24 months. They are displayed in physical ways and through various health issues. Action taken when symptoms are emerging has a better chance of healing the injury. Untreated injuries could lead to paralysis or other conditions. Birth injury lawyers will help you identify medical malpractice if it exists.

Early Symptoms

Within hours of birth, babies may display early warning signs. The behavior of the child is often the first indication of a problem. Physical symptoms are often visible in how the baby moves or the shape of limbs and bone structure. Health-related symptoms may be displayed in the child’s vital signs or breathing patterns.

Behavioral Signs to Watch

  • Difficulty sucking or swallowing
  • Constant or unusual drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Seizures

Signals Related to Health

  • Dizziness or headaches
  • Excessive coughing
  • Swelling or inflammation
  • Trouble eating, breathing or excreting wastes
  • Low heart rate or blood pressure
  • Problems with vision or hearing

Physically Apparent Symptoms

  • Fractures
  • Hand curling or bent limbs
  • Weak movements or reflexes
  • Spasms or writing

Signals May Develop Later

Some symptoms of birth injury become apparent between 1 and 2 years of age. Signs of an undiagnosed birth injury can remain dormant until the necessary muscles or motor skills are more frequently used.

  • Delay or difficulty walking
  • Lack or muscle control or poor motor skills
  • Speech or memory problems
  • Ataxia or partial paralysis
  • Difficulty learning basic skills

Developmental Benchmarks

Failing to achieve age-related goals such as walking or talking may indicate that a birth injury was sustained but was not apparent. Tasks such as recognizing their name or learning to use scissors are indications which show up years apart. Cognitive disorders such as autism or ADD/ADHD may not be apparent until after the child begins school. Parents noticing behavior problems need birth injury lawyers to determine whether litigation is needed.