Infant spinal cord damage can potentially affect a child for the duration of their lives.
The delivery process is both exciting and stressful. When giving birth, there are always risks for complications. Unfortunately, there are a variety of birth injuries that can occur during and after a child is delivered. Here is what you need to know about infant spinal cord damage.
Spinal Cord Injury at Birth
Infants only account for 5% of all spinal cord damage cases in the U.S. Though it isn’t common, severe damage can impact a child’s life permanently. Infant spinal cord damage can be caused by blunt force trauma or a medical mistake. Most spinal cord injuries in infants occur around the neck area. Typically, the higher the injury is in the body, the more serious the damage will be as a result.
Childbirth & Spinal Cord Damage
Typically, infant spinal cord damage occurs as a result of a difficult delivery. Breech deliveries (when the baby comes out feet first) can cause traction on the infant’s trunk, resulting in spinal cord damage.
In addition, if stress is put on the infant’s spinal axis or Brachial Plexus nerves, damage can occur as well. Sometimes, the baby’s head can be hyper-extended during breech deliveries or if a forceps and vacuum extraction method has to be used.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries in Newborns
If you believe that your child may be suffering from infant spinal cord damage, here are some of the signs to look out for:
- Loss of touch sensation
- Abnormal reflexes
- Muscle spasms
- Breathing difficulties
- Bladder control problems
- Inability to move
- Stinging pains around the spinal cord
Long-Term Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries
With more severe infant spinal cord damage cases, a child may never fully recover. This can result in paralysis, intellectual disabilities, and even wrongful death if the case is too severe. These spinal cord injuries are categorized as complete or incomplete.
A complete injury means that there is a total loss of sensation and motor functions where the injury occurred, while an incomplete injury means that there is still a way for the brain to send messages to the spinal cord. With incomplete injuries, steroids may be used, and the child may be put into a brace that helps the nerves to heal.
Medical Malpractice Claims for Newborn Spinal Cord Injuries
Newborns do not suffer spinal cord injuries every day. When a newborn is critically injured in this way, it may be a sign of healthcare provider negligence, mistakes, or malpractice.
Your obstetrician, midwives, nurses, and other prenatal care team members had an obligation to provide you with high-quality medical care throughout your pregnancy, labor, and delivery. If they made any type of mistake along the way that was the proximate cause of your baby’s spinal cord injury, you may have the right to file a medical malpractice claim against them.
If your healthcare providers failed to diagnose the spinal cord injury, provide necessary treatment, or were responsible for causing the spinal cord injury due to blood force trauma or mistakes made during delivery, you may have grounds for legal action.
It is not unusual for physicians and other healthcare providers to attempt to hide their medical mistakes. For this reason, you may not initially be sure whether your healthcare provider’s negligence was the cause of your baby’s spinal cord damage. Consult a respected Maryland medical malpractice attorney at The Snyder Law Group, LLC, to get an in-depth analysis of your case and find out what your next steps should be.
Statute of Limitations for a Spinal Cord Injury at Birth
Maryland has some of the most victim-friendly medical malpractice statutes of limitations in the country. According to Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code Section 5-109, you must file your medical malpractice claim within three years of discovering the medical mistake or your newborn’s injury or within five years of your newborn being diagnosed with a spinal cord injury.
However, the statute of limitations will not begin until your child reaches the age of 11, at which point you will have three years to file your lawsuit. If you are unsure of how much longer you have to get your spinal cord birth injury claim filed, make sure you discuss your concerns with your medical malpractice attorney so you can avoid being barred from pursuing your lawsuit in civil court.
Families of Medical Negligence Deserve Maximum Compensation
Your baby’s life and your family’s lives may be turned upside down by your newborn’s spinal cord injury. Not only will you need to spend the aftermath of your child’s injuries getting medical treatment and care, which inhibits the precious bonding time between parents and babies, but the mental anguish of what your newborn went through can be emotionally taxing.
Depending on the severity of your child’s spinal cord injuries, they may be left with a permanent disability, including paralysis. Fortunately, when you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you have a chance to recover compensation for every single way your life and your baby’s life have been and are expected to continue to be affected by spinal cord injuries. Some examples of potentially recoverable damages include:
- Every medical expense, including rehabilitative care, physical therapy, mental health counseling, co-pays, medication, and future treatment
- Parents’ loss of income and diminished earning capacity since becoming their baby’s full-time caregiver
- The newborn’s permanent disability and reduced earning potential
- Disfigurement and skin scarring
- Reduced quality of life in trouble maintaining close family relationships
- Physical pain and suffering related to the spinal cord injury
Has Your Child Suffered Infant Spinal Cord Damage as a Result of a Medical Mistake? Contact The Snyder Law Group Today!
The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior.
You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts settlements*. Please visit our website,www.410thefirm.com, for more information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn.