b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1101529682.jpgThe birth of a child can be one of the most joyful times of a parent’s life. Yet labor and delivery also carry significant risks, including dangers to the child’s current and future health. Competent medical care can minimize most risks during childbirth and most doctors and nurses serve their patients with an excellent standard of care.

But sometimes, a medical provider’s exhaustion, sloppiness, neglect, or incompetence cause a neonatal infant real harm. Physical birth injuries can cause pain and suffering for a child, but they can also result in long-term developmental delays and disabilities. In turn, this can require difficult and expensive medical treatment that may be necessary for many years and even an entire lifetime.

Which Birth Injuries Can Cause Developmental Delays?

“Developmental delay” is a fairly broad term that indicates a child is not reaching appropriate developmental milestones at a certain age. These include cognitive, physical, verbal, auditory, and emotional abilities that persist over time. Some begin relatively early and are quite clear, while others may develop more slowly and take time to recognize.

Many different birth injuries may cause or contribute to developmental delays, especially injuries related to blood and oxygen flow to the brain. Some of the most common types of birth injuries that can result in developmental delays include:

  • Delayed C-sections

  • Failure to recognize or respond to fetal distress

  • Excessively long labor

  • Shoulder dystocia

  • Umbilical cord hazards

  • Inappropriate use of labor-inducing drugs like pitocin

  • Using excessive physical force during delivery

All of the above conditions can threaten an infant’s oxygen supply, resulting in significant brain damage and other neurological injuries. Just a few minutes and sometimes even seconds can impede sufficient oxygen, causing conditions like cerebral palsy, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and more.

Signs and Symptoms that Birth Injury Occurred

Because developmental delays may not become apparent for some time after delivery, it is important to be aware of signs that could indicate that a birth injury took place. These include, but are not limited to:

  • An infant requiring resuscitation, such as CPR or a breathing tube, immediately after delivery

  • Bruises, abrasions, or swelling on a baby’s head, face, or shoulders

  • A “floppy” feel to a baby’s body

  • One arm that looks or feels limp

  • Seizures

Even without an official diagnosis, an experienced birth injuries attorney may still be able to help.

Call a Cook County Birth Injury Lawyer

Improper or insufficient care during labor and delivery may cause birth injuries that can result in serious, life-long developmental delays. If you fear that your child is or could be suffering from a developmental delay because of medical malpractice, call an experienced Chicago, IL birth injury attorney with Birth Injury Law Alliance. We take every case seriously and are committed to helping you achieve a favorable outcome whenever possible. Call us today at 312-462-4200 to schedule your free consultation.




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