Signs Your Child has a Birth Injury

portland birth injury lawyers signs your child has a birth injury could HIE cause cerebral palsy

Understanding the Important Signs How Your Child May Have a Birth Injury: Portland Birth Injury Lawyers

You cannot ask your baby if he or she has an injury.  Infants cannot communicate or even gesture to their pain.  Some birth injuries can be very difficult to detect, including nerve injuries or organ injuries.  Brain injuries are even harder because they are not like a broken bone, cut, or other injury.  Brain injuries sometimes are not detectable on imaging studies, and most physicians hesitate to perform imaging studies on newborns because of the radiation exposure.  This means that parents and their doctors need to evaluate the symptoms and conduct of a child to determine whether there is an injury.  Learn about the signs your child has a birth injury and what it could be from our Portland birth injury lawyers.

It is important to protect your children’s rights because there may be significant pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life, and other future damages such as inability to work.  An experienced Portland birth injury lawyer like ours at Kuhlman Law can help victims and their families recover compensation for the personal injuries that they need to live productive lives.  This can be more difficult with serious birth injuries such as cerebral palsy or CP.  This is because the yearly expense for a child with cerebral palsy and an intellectual disability are over 26 times what is costs to raise a child without, and the lifetime costs are over a million dollars.

Understanding Signs Your Child Has a Birth Injury: Warning Signs and What is It

Cerebral Palsy – this is a disability that is caused by a disorder or group of disorders which affect a child’s movement.  The disability could be voluntary movement such as fine motor skill such as putting on clothes or writing or gross motor movement such as walking, or involuntary movement, such as tremors or shakes.  It is caused by damage to the developing brain, usually during the birthing process.  The damage is to the cerebellum and basil ganglia in the brain.

The most important warning signs of cerebral palsy in a child include the following:

  • Low muscle tone with flaccid or floppy muscles
  • Muscle spasms or stiff muscles
  • Tremors or shakes
  • Seizures
  • Unable to lift up his or hear head while lying on their stomach or in a supported sitting position
  • Poor muscle control, reflexes, posture, or structural appearance 
  • Delayed development (trouble rolling over by 6 months, trouble walking by 12 months
  • Feeding or swallowing difficulties 
  • Preference to once side of the body such as only reaching or kicking with only the left side or only the right side, and
  • Other serious symptoms.

Kernicterus – this condition is caused by a buildup of bilirubin in the blood.  This bilirubin is what causes jaundice.  Jaundice is the yellowing appearance that a person may develop on his or her eyes or skin.  In babies, jaundice is completely normal for a few hours or day after birth.  However, if jaundice lasts too long it really may be kernicterus.  This is the condition condition which results in damage to the brain because of the caustic buildup of bilirubin.  Babies who have kernicterus suffer serious brain injuries because of this toxic buildup.  Brain injuries from kernicterus could cause cerebral palsy, developmental disability, and other serious conditions.

Some warning signs of kernicterus are the following:

  • Jaundice for more than 24 hours, usually more then a few days (always ask your doctor for jaundice longer than 24 hours just to be sure)
  • Screaming, scroll crying
  • Discomfort or irritability 
  • Lack of appetite or refusal to nurse
  • Excessive sleeping or lack of sleeping, and
  • Other serious and potentially devastating warning signs that families should know about.

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy – also known as HIE, this condition is brain damage to an infant due to a decreased blood flow carrying oxygen to a baby’s brain.  As a result, the brain works at a deficiency of oxygen.  This can result in damage to the brain because of the lack of full oxygen needed.  A victim will than be forced to suffer the debilitating affects of this condition.  HIE could result in various forms of brain damage, including cerebral palsy, developmental delays, seizure disorders, and other serious forms of birth injuries.  

Some of the warning signs of HIE include the following:

  • Screaming and nonstop crying that is not resolved with cuddling
  • Lack of appetite
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Irritability 
  • Not focusing with eyes 
  • Not responding to stimuli 
  • Nursing problems
  • Weak muscle tone
  • Movement on one side of the body only
  • Abnormal behavior, and
  • Any other uneasy symptoms.

Brachial Plexus Injuries – this is when the nerves originating in the neck and extended down to the arms are stretched or torn.  These nerves that are damaged could result in serious injury because they control sensation, movement, and other functions in the entire arm.  This type of damage can be devastating and should be reviewed by our Oregon medical malpractice lawyer.  This type of birth injury is commonly caused by pulling, yanking, grabbing, otherwise manipulating the baby’s arm or shoulder in the birth canal to help delivery the baby.  But pulling too hard or for too long could result in serious injury.

Some of the most common warning signs of Oregon birth injuries resulting in brachial plexus injuries include the following:

  • Lack of use of one arm 
  • Cradling or holding that arm close to the body
  • Screaming or crying for no apparent reason
  • Complete non-use of that arm
  • Lack of reaction to that arm after stimulus is applied to it
  • Fussy eater
  • No movement in the fingers
  • Redness or swelling in the shoulder or arm, and
  • Other questionable symptoms.

Ask our Portland Brain Injury Lawyers For Help

Use these warnings signs your child has a birth injury to help protect your family’s rights to compensation when a healthcare provider violates them.  If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.

For a free case evaluation


(541) 385-1999 in Bend, Oregon
(503) 479-3646 in Portland, Oregon
(612) 444-3374 in Minnesota

– or fill out the form below –

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