Did your child suffer a spinal cord injury during birth? The consequences could last their entire life. While some treatment methods may be able to mitigate your child’s symptoms, damage to the spinal cord unfortunately cannot be cured. Depending on the severity of the injury, your child could be able to achieve some level of mobility after extensive physical therapy or other emerging treatments. Other children may not show any improvement in their symptoms.
If a medical provider’s mistakes can be linked to your child’s spinal birth injury, you can take action to hold the at-fault individual or facility accountable. But how can you take on a doctor or medical group that has a formidable team of insurance defense attorneys? It’s simple: Get stronger attorneys of your own. A Baltimore spinal birth injury attorney at Brown & Barron will fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve.
You Could Be Entitled to Receive Compensation
If your child sustained a spinal cord injury because of a medical professional’s negligence or mistake, you could be entitled to recover compensation. To recover compensation, you must prove how the medical professionals involved with your child’s birth were at fault for the injury. If successful, you could recover the following in damages:
- Medical costs, both current and future
- Rehabilitative care
- Mobility devices
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
An attorney at Brown & Barron will work with experts in the economics and medical field to determine the value of each loss you’ve incurred. This information will allow us to estimate the value of your claim.
Get in touch with a spinal birth injury lawyer serving Baltimore, 410-547-0202 for a free case evaluation.
Injuries Caused by Infant Spinal Cord Damage
The spinal cord carries signals from the brain to the rest of the body, and damage to it can interrupt this communication, preventing the brain from sending directions to muscles and internal systems.
Medical professionals classify spinal cord injuries as incomplete if the patient still has some sensory or motor function below the injury. This happens when the damage did not affect an entire cross-section of the spinal cord. A complete spinal cord injury, on the other hand, results from total damage to a certain part of the spinal cord.
A child with an injured spinal cord may grow up experiencing:
- Partial or full paralysis
- The sharp pain caused by nerve damage
- Bowel and bladder control issues
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty regulating body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure
- Unpredictable spasms
- Bodily or muscular weakness
- Abnormal reflexes
It may be difficult to determine the breadth of your baby’s injuries right now, simply because they cannot communicate with you. However, even a “less severe” spinal cord injury will cause lasting disability that can affect your child’s needs and opportunities.
What Can Cause a Spinal Birth Injury?
For the most part, spinal birth injuries are not naturally occurring. That is to say, they are not a birth defect, but rather a form of trauma caused by mistaken or inappropriate treatment during labor or delivery.
Most spinal cord injuries that are acquired during birth affect the neck. In these cases, the symptoms may affect a child’s whole body. Damage that occurs lower on the spinal cord, on the other hand, will only impair the function of the body parts below the injury.
Causes of spinal birth injuries are often the misuse of:
- Vacuum extractors
- Manual manipulation
Risk Factors for a Spinal Cord Birth Injury
Some common risk factors for spinal cord injuries include:
- The baby is in a breech position
- The baby weighs more than 8-9 pounds
- Bleeding in the brain, sometimes caused by a maternal infection
- The baby’s head is hyperextended in the womb
When the head is hyperextended, vertebrae may be dislocated or fractured, which can cause lesions, stretching, or tearing of the spinal cord.
Signs and Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
If you believe your child may have a spinal cord injury, you must take them to the doctor right away. Most symptoms of spinal cord injuries appear immediately. However, there are cases where the symptoms do not appear for up to four days. Signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:
- The baby seems floppy when picked up
- Lack of reflexes
- Loss of sensation
- Breathing issues
- Loss of muscle function in some or all limbs
The signs of cerebral palsy in an infant can look similar to a spinal cord injury. Therefore, it is critical to have your child’s physician run the appropriate tests to rule out cerebral palsy. X-rays, MRI studies, or CT scans can diagnose spinal cord injuries.
Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries
First, it is most important to prevent spinal cord injuries from happening at all. A doctor’s training includes knowing the risk factors for spinal cord injuries. If a pregnant woman presents any risk factors, the doctor should know when a C-section delivery is safer than natural birth.
If a baby sustains an injury, a team of therapists and doctors will be involved in the treatment plan. These injuries require immediate attention, so more damage doesn’t occur to the spinal cord. The baby may require surgery or other treatments, such as a breathing machine, catheter, or feeding tube, depending on the severity of the injury.
The medical team will provide therapy to give your child the most independence possible. These treatments aim to control spastic muscles, help children know what muscles to use for mobility, keep muscles from wasting, and prevent other complications.
The Attorneys at Brown & Barron Will Advocate for You and Your Family
Our Baltimore spinal birth injury lawyers can help you file a claim and negotiate a settlement. If we cannot reach a fair settlement with an insurance company, we are prepared to advocate for you to receive compensation through a trial. We have more than 130 years of combined legal experience we use to inform our work. In other words, we can go toe-to-toe with the region’s biggest medical entities and corporations.
We take on these difficult cases because we care about helping families who have been harmed by negligent medical providers. If you are in this position, we want to know what we can do for you. The medical professionals who caused your child’s injury should be held accountable for the pain and challenges you and your baby now face.
Helping Families Find Answers After a Birth Injury
Medical providers have the unshakable duty to you and your child to act safely and according to medical standards during delivery. A negligent mistake that causes a spinal cord injury at birth is unacceptable. Filing a birth injury claim can help you find answers and hold reckless care providers accountable.
Our lawyers are skilled litigators with a deep technical understanding of the medical issues implicated in spinal cord injuries. We can search for evidence of a care provider’s negligence and fight for the compensation you deserve. Our team will take on all the work so you can spend time with your baby. We aim to help you find peace of mind and financial support. So, contact us today for your free, no-obligation consultation.
Contact Brown & Barron online today to schedule a free case review with a with a spinal birth injury lawyer serving Baltimore.