Newborn babies are surprisingly hardy, considering how fragile they look, but they must still be handled with extreme care. Doctors, nurses, midwives, and other individuals tasked with prenatal and postnatal care must understand the weighty responsibility of their position, and should know how to handle an infant without causing any undue harm. If an infant is in any way injured, they might suffer lasting repercussions.
In some cases, an infant may become paralyzed due to severe spinal injuries, nervous conditions, brain injuries, or infections. Doctors must be vigilant to diagnose and treat such issues if they occur, and nurses and other healthcare professionals must do their part to provide infants with the care they need and deserve. To learn more about infant paralysis and how it’s caused, read on:
Understanding Infant Paralysis
If a child suffers serious injuries before, during, or after the birth, the damage may ultimately result in paralysis. Infant paralysis may be partial or complete, temporary or permanent, depending on the cause and the degree of severity.
Infant paralysis is typically caused by one of three general issues:
- Brain injuries
During the birth process, the infant may experience oxygen deprivation due to a complex or stressful birth, or a number of other health complications. if the baby does not receive oxygen quickly, he or she could sustain serious brain damage, which can sometimes result in paralysis. if the umbilical cord is wrapped around the infant’s neck, this may also lead to a paralysis-inducing brain injury, or it could injure the baby’s spinal column. Lastly, direct head trauma can also cause the baby to suffer full or partial paralysis.
- Spinal injuries
The most obvious cause of infant paralysis is a spinal injury. If the baby’s neck or spine is roughly handled during delivery, such as by the use of forceps or a vacuum, the baby’s spine could become injured, leaving the baby paralyzed. The baby’s spine might also be injured if the doctor handles the baby too roughly during delivery, resulting in spinal trauma.
- Nerve Problems
If a child’s nerves become damaged at any point during the birth process, the damage can be extensive. Certain groups of nerves are more vital than others, and if these central nerves are harmed, the child may lose function or feeling in any area of the body. If a child suffers injuries to the brachial plexus nerves, for example, he or she may suffer paralysis in the arm or shoulder. Or, conditions that affect the nervous system, like Acute Flaccid Myelitis, or AFM, may take root in the infant, causing paralysis and other health issues.
Severe infections can have a drastic effect on the body, and infants are no exception. If the baby suffers an infection while in the mother’s uterus, or if he or she develops an infection after delivery, the damage can be severe and long-lasting. Poliomyelitis, or polio, as it is more commonly called, is one such example of a damaging infection that can result in paralysis.
Infant paralysis is not always easy to identify, which is why parents and doctors must be vigilant. If a doctor fails to fulfill a certain standard of care, causing your child to become paralyzed, they could be found liable for the resulting damage. A doctor may be liable for a delayed diagnosis, lack of diagnosis, improper diagnosis, incorrect treatment, lack of treatment, lack of monitoring, or any other negligent actions. As a parent, if you suspect your child’s paralysis was caused by an issue with the medical care you received while pregnant or giving birth, make sure you discuss your concerns with an experienced attorney.
Was Your Child Injured? Discover Your Legal Options
At Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC, we understand how difficult birth injury cases can be, and we are here to provide you and your family with the legal support you need and deserve. Infant paralysis can be challenging for many reasons, not the least of which is the financial strain it may cause. Your child may require ongoing physical therapy, medications, and doctor’s visits, not to mention any existing medical bills for the injury or illness that caused the paralysis. Paying for these damages while caring for your injured child can be next to impossible, which is why we want to help you fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.
Ready to get started? Contact our compassionate attorneys at Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC.