Birth Injury Signs and Symptoms

When a child suffers a birth injury, symptoms may be immediately unmistakable or take years to present. Birth injury signs are highly variable, depending on the specific type of injury, the body parts or organs affected, and the complications resulting from the damage. There are some signs that you may recognize soon after delivery. Others you may not notice until your child is a few years old. Although each birth injury case is different, there are some predominating signs that often appear when a child has suffered birth trauma. Without timely diagnosis and treatment, birth injuries can lead to severe complications that impact your child for the rest of their life. It is doctor’s responsibility to recognize potential signs of a birth injury. They should also run tests if any events occurred during labor or delivery that may have caused an injury to your baby.

Birth Injury Symptoms that Present Immediately

The following symptoms may be apparent in the hours or days after your baby is born. These signs are often associated with a birth injury but may indicate any number of medical conditions. The doctor should identify your baby’s specific symptoms and make an accurate diagnosis.

  • Need for resuscitation
  • Being pale or turning blue
  • Rapid breathing or breathlessness
  • Slow breathing
  • Low heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures (may appear as strange movements)
  • Difficulty feeding or swallowing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Drooling excessively
  • Arched back while crying
  • Extreme irritability, high-pitched crying, or grunting
  • Favoring one side of the body
  • Hand curled into a claw-like shape
  • Weak reflexes
  • Muscle weakness or stiffness

Birth Injury Signs that Appear between 12 and 24 Months

Sometimes, symptoms of a birth injury will take months or even years to become apparent. The following are symptoms that typically develop between 12 and 24 months old:

  • Difficulties crawling or walking
  • Ataxia: loss of full control of bodily movements
  • Lack of coordination
  • Delayed speech or lack of speech
  • Involuntary pulling of the neck
  • Inability to sit or stand on their own
  • Problems eating or drinking
  • Hearing difficulties
  • Trouble holding things

Symptoms of a Birth Injury after Age 2

If your child develops any of these symptoms after 2 years of age, it may indicate that a birth injury occurred. These signs simply don’t become obvious until your child begins missing milestones or experiencing delays in development. Some of the possible signs of a birth injury that become apparent after age 2 include:

  • Developmental disabilities like autism or epilepsy
  • Difficulties with motor skills
  • Speech or language impairments
  • Lack of speech
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Tremors
  • Difficulty with learning or comprehension
  • Issues with eating, drinking, or dressing without help
  • Problems running or climbing stairs
  • Hypertonia: rigidity of muscles

All of the above signs and symptoms may indicate a birth injury that caused damage to your child’s brain or nervous system. However, only a doctor can definitively determine your child’s condition. A medical professional should run a variety of tests to diagnose the origin of your child’s specific symptoms. In some cases, a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy or another brain condition is the underlying cause.

Discuss Your Child’s Symptoms with NJ Birth Injury Lawyers

If your child suffers from a medical condition and you suspect birth trauma may have played a role, it is imperative to know all of your rights and options. Children who are victims of medical negligence during birth can pursue compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitative treatments, supportive therapies, and pain and suffering. Contact us online or by phone at (866)-708-8617 to speak with a seasoned birth injury attorney who can explain the legal avenues available to you.

We have offices in Newark, NJ and New York. Our legal team regularly advocates for clients in Clifton, Trenton, Camden, Union, Edison, Franklin Township, Hackensack, and throughout the New Jersey and New York area. We are also called upon as a legal resource for children medical malpractice victims across the country.

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  • How do I know if my child has a pediatric malpractice case?

    If your child suffered an injury, complications, or a medical condition resulting from medical negligence, you may have grounds for a pediatric malpractice or birth injury lawsuit. Learn more.

  • How can I get help to pay for my child's medical bills?

    If a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other healthcare provider failed to provide adequate care for your child and they suffered harm, you can pursue compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more. Find out about damages.

  • How long do I have to file a pediatric malpractice claim?

    The statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice lawsuit varies from state to state. The time limits may begin when your child's condition is identified, not necessarily when it occurred. Contact us for information that applies to your child's specific case.

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