A spinal cord injury during birth can affect the rest of a child’s
life, leaving them with a number of lasting medical issues. According
to Boston Children’s Hospital, roughly 60 to 75 percent of spinal
cord injuries in newborns affect the neck area, 20 percent occur in the
chest or upper back area, and 5 to 20 percent affect the spinal cord area
of the lower back. Typically, the further up on the body the injury occurs,
the more severe the damage. In some cases, spinal cord injuries can result
in paralysis, intellectual disabilities, or even death.
A spinal cord injury can be either incomplete or complete. If it is incomplete,
there is still a chance that the brain can send signals down the spinal
cord, and sensory and motor function may still be attainable. Unfortunately,
however, injuries that are complete result in a complete loss of motor
and sensory functions below the injury site.
What are the Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in Infants?
Infant spinal cord damage occurs when the spine suffers a blunt force
trauma during birth, usually due to a medical mistake. The injury could come in the form of
a contusion (a bruise) or a transection (a tear). Other medical errors
that could result in damage to the spine include a misdiagnosis of a condition
called spina bifida, in which the raw nerves of the spine are not completely
enclosed by the vertebrae. If the medical staff is not aware of this condition
during birth, they can cause further damage by touching these nerves.
Stressful deliveries are another cause of spinal cord injuries. Traction
on the baby’s trunk, rotational stresses, or abnormal birthing positions
could cause the spinal cord to be overstretched during the birthing process,
often leading to permanent injury.
Is Your Child Exhibiting These Symptoms?
Symptoms will vary depending on the severity of the injury as well as what
part of the spinal cord was affected, but typical symptoms include:
- Inability to move
- Abnormal reflexes
- Breathing difficulties
- Bladder and bowel control problems
- Loss of touch sensations
- Pain around affected area
Call Beam & Raymond Today for a Free Case Evaluation
Many children do not recover from spinal cord injuries and deal with symptoms
for the rest of their lives. If you suspect that your child has been injured
at birth, please contact the Chicago birth injury attorneys at Beam &
Raymond as soon as possible. We are committed to fighting to protect the
rights of your injured child and are not afraid to go to court to secure
the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to for your child’s care.
We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements
for clients throughout the country.
For more information on how we can help,
call our office today at (866) 766-3806.