Common Signs of Birth Injuries New Parents Should Look For

When an infant suffers an injury or disability before, during, or shortly after being born, it is called a birth injury. Obviously, newborns cannot tell others if they are experiencing any sort of symptoms of a birth injury, which means that new parents need to pay close attention to any signs that something might be wrong. Birth injuries can take many forms, like aftereffects of oxygen deprivation, muscular injuries, blood pressure problems, and so forth, so the warning signs can be quite varied as well.

However, there are five telltale signs that an infant might need medical attention:

  • Abnormal skin color: Discoloration to a newborn’s skin should be taken seriously, especially if they seem to be turning blue or pale. This symptom could indicate a severe drop in blood oxygen levels, which requires emergency care.
  • Shallow breathing or pulse: Although they are small, infants should still have a clear, measurable pulse and breathing rate as you would expect to find in an adult. Shallow breaths or a weak pulse could indicate a respiratory or circulatory system deficiency.
  • Slow or strange movements: When a baby is not sleepy, you will know it because they should be quite active and a “little bundle of energy.” An infant with slow, sluggish, or unusual movements could be experiencing a musculoskeletal problem that is causing a physical debilitation.
  • Poor reflexes: Delayed reflexes can indicate a musculoskeletal issue or a problem with the child’s cognitive processing abilities. A medical specialist might be required to determine the cause of a child’s weak reflexes.
  • Stiff or floppy joints or limbs: People often associate newborns will clumsy movements because they are still developing full motor control. A child who appears to be unusually floppy could be experiencing a birth injury, though. The same is true of a child who has stiff limbs and joints or who does not want to fully extend their extremities.

Two of the Most Problematic Birth Injuries

Upon noticing that your child might be suffering from a birth injury, you will wonder what that birth injury could be. Just as there are many symptoms, there are also many different types of birth injuries. Ultimately, you should only rely on the diagnosis of a medical expert to get a better idea of what might be affecting your child.

There are two common and problematic birth injuries, though, which are:

  • Cerebral palsy: Oxygen deprivation and brain damage during delivery are believed to be the leading causes of cerebral palsy (CP) in newborns. CP symptoms usually include muscular weakness and a severe lack of motor control, but it can also cause developmental disabilities like speech impediments or learning difficulties. Lifelong therapies are often required to help a child with CP live to the fullest and with comfort.
  • Brachial plexus palsy: When the nerves in a baby’s arm, shoulder, or neck are damaged during delivery, it can cause brachial plexus palsy. This birth injury is associated with a doctor pulling too forcefully on a baby’s arm to try to complete the delivery. Mild cases can cause limb debilitation for months or years, but moderate to severe cases can cause permanent disabilities like weakened reflexes, poor dexterity, or complete limb paralysis.

Your Child Has a Birth Injury – What Now?

When a medical professional diagnosis your child with a birth injury, the next step should be talking with a legal professional. You could have the opportunity to file a birth injury claim against the medical providers who assisted with your child’s birth, including delivery room doctors, nurses, and obstetricians. Creating, filing, and pursuing a birth injury claim is notoriously difficult, though, due to various laws and regulations that tend to shield medical practitioners from liability. Without an attorney by your side, you will really be in for an uphill battle, so it is once again advised that you talk with a local birth injury lawyer as soon as your child is diagnosed.

For birth injury cases in Philadelphia, call (215) 278-4449 to speak with a birth injury attorney from Golomb LegalWe have won more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients throughout the years.