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Birth Injury Symptoms - What You Need to Know

Comprehensive Guide to Recognizing Birth Injury Symptoms

At Van Wey Law, our commitment extends beyond legal support. We want to empower parents with knowledge about preventable birth injuries, their symptoms, and potential causes. This knowledge is crucial not only for immediate care but also for understanding your legal rights and options. On this page, you’ll find some basic information about common birth injury symptoms.  

Immediate Physical and Neurological Signs (0-3 Months)

Delivery complications such as breech delivery, prolonged labor, or the use of forceps or vacuum extraction can cause serious injuries. Just after birth, certain acute symptoms that indicate these injuries include: 

  • Respiratory Issues: Difficulty breathing, gasping for air, or a bluish skin coloration could suggest respiratory distress or oxygen deprivation. These are critical issues that need immediate attention.
  • Muscle Tone and Reflexes: Unusual stiffness or floppiness, difficulty with reflexes like sucking and swallowing, or odd posture during crying may show problems with the brain or development.
  • Neurological Concerns: Seizures or jitteriness are serious indicators of neurological (nerve) damage; skull fractures or visible deformations might also be present.
  • Facial and Limb Asymmetry: Facial nerve palsy may result in uneven facial movement or cause limbs to be positioned unnaturally or to be immobile. These symptoms could be related to a spinal cord injury, or another injury sustained during the birthing process.

Developmental and Behavioral Indicators (3 Months to 2 Years)

As infants grow, delayed or atypical development may become evident:

  • Cognitive and Sensory Processing: Delays in smile or coo response, lack of interest in surroundings, or failure to track objects with eyes.
  • Physical Milestones: Inability to hold head up, sit without assistance, or use arms and legs symmetrically.
  • Communication and Social Interaction: Limited babbling, delayed speech development, and reduced responsiveness to social engagement.
  • Unusual Motor Skills Development: Problems such as not reaching for objects, difficulty crawling, or abnormal rolling over can point to motor skill development issues.
  • Difficulty with Muscle Control: Muscle spasms or unusual stiffness, known as spasticity, indicate potential central nervous system damage.

Long-Term Symptoms and Developmental Concerns (2 Years and Older)

Symptoms that persist or manifest later can indicate more severe or lasting type of birth injury:

  • Motor Function: Persistent difficulty with walking, coordination, or using fine motor skills like holding a crayon or spoon.
  • Cognitive Delays: Struggles with problem-solving, poor memory, or learning disabilities that become apparent as the child reaches school age.
  • Behavioral Issues: Unusual aggression or irritability, difficulty interacting with peers, or obsessive behaviors that may suggest neurological impairments.
  • Developmental Delays Due to Birth Injury: Missing developmental milestones can often be traced back to complications during birth affecting brain development.

Specific Conditions and Concerns Linked to Birth Injuries

  • Issues with the Umbilical Cord: Complications such as a wrapped, prolapsed, or short umbilical cord can severely impact the baby’s oxygen supply. With umbilical cord problems, lawyers often see potential for brain damage.  
  • Variations in Blood Pressure During Delivery: Significant fluctuations in the mother’s blood pressure during labor can affect the baby’s oxygen levels, leading to cerebral hypoxia. 
  • Abnormal MRI Findings: Imaging tests can reveal abnormalities in the brain that signify trauma or oxygen deprivation during birth. MRI testing is often used to check for any neurological irregularity in children who may be showing symptoms of cerebral palsy at birth—lawyers rely on these results to build a successful case.
  • Seizures as a Sign of Birth Injury: Neonatal seizures are often one of the first signs of cerebral injury due to oxygen deprivation or hemorrhage during birth.
  • Breathing Problems at Birth: Immediate breathing difficulties can indicate respiratory distress, a common consequence of traumatic births or oxygen deprivation. 

Legal Support and Medical Consultation

If you suspect that your child’s birth injury was due to medical negligence, we recommend setting up an immediate legal consultation. At Van Wey Law, we provide free case evaluations to determine if you have grounds to take legal action.

Contact Us for a Free Case Review

We understand that dealing with a birth injury can be incredibly challenging and emotional. If you believe your child suffered a birth injury, contact Van Wey Law for a comprehensive evaluation of your case. Let our extensive experience  in medical negligence help you navigate these difficult times.


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