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a baby displays warning signs of a birth injury | Mandell, Boisclair, and Mandell, Ltd.
February 8, 2023

Warning Signs of a Birth Injury

While the arrival of a new baby is an exciting time for any family, it is important to know the warning signs of a birth injury. Birth injuries can lead to a lifetime of disability, pain, and medical bills for the child, as well as emotional and financial stress for the parents. 

If your child was harmed by the negligence of a doctor or other medical professional, you have the right to seek compensation for your child’s suffering. A Providence birth injury attorney at Mandell, Boisclair, & Mandell, Ltd. can help you navigate the legal process, build a strong case, and fight for the maximum amount of compensation possible.

What Constitutes a Birth Injury?

Birth injuries are impairments to a newborn’s body functions and/or brain that result from an unfavorable event immediately before or at birth. These injuries can be minor or severe and can be caused by various factors during labor and delivery. They can usually be identified through a thorough clinical assessment.

Birth injuries can be physical in nature—such as bone fractures, brachial plexus injuries, and paralysis—or they can affect a newborn’s brain. For example, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy, and Erb’s palsy can all result from errors during labor or delivery. Various other conditions can be classified as birth injuries as well. 

Signs Your Newborn May Have Suffered a Birth Injury

Parents of newborn children should monitor for signs of birth injuries during their child’s first days, weeks, and months of life. Warning signs that a newborn may have suffered a birth injury during labor or delivery include:

  • Bruising or swelling (particularly around the head, shoulders, or abdomen)
  • Differences between the right and left sides of the baby’s body (i.e., a weaker grip in one hand or holding one arm against the body) 
  • Facial paralysis
  • Hearing or vision impairments 
  • Lack of muscle tone consistent with age, health, and birth weight 
  • Need for supplemental oxygen 
  • Crying indicative of pain when touched in specific areas of the body 
  • Persistent crying 
  • Seizures 
  • Stiffness, awkward, or uncontrollable movements 
  • Abnormal test results

Additional Warning Signs of a Birth Injury That May Develop Over Time 

Along with the immediate warning signs of a birth injury, children who experience trauma during labor or delivery may begin to exhibit additional symptoms over time. These symptoms will often be consistent with physical or cognitive developmental delays. Beginning around 8 to 12 months of age, additional warning signs of a birth injury can include:

  • Cognitive impairments 
  • Inability to sit up or crawl 
  • Failing to meet milestones of normal development
  • Inability to perform fine motor movements such as clapping or grasping 
  • Joint or muscle stiffness (often manifested in jerky or uncomfortable movements)
  • Physical abnormalities 

Speak with a Rhode Island Birth Injury Lawyer About Your Family’s Legal Rights 

The Providence birth injury lawyers at Mandell, Boisclair, & Mandell, Ltd. have extensive experience with these difficult cases. We helped many families across Rhode island obtain the compensation they deserve after a birth injury.

If you have concerns that your child may have suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice, we strongly encourage you to speak with one of our lawyers about your family’s legal rights.

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To schedule a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced birth injury lawyer at Mandell, Boisclair, & Mandell, Ltd., please call (401) 273-8330 or request an appointment online today.