It can be heartbreaking when a child is born with a birth injury. While many birth injuries are accidental, some birth injuries, such as infant apraxia, can be the direct result of negligent medical malpractice. Infant apraxia, also known as childhood apraxia of speech, can be caused by a brain injury at birth.
If your child suffered a brain injury resulting in infant apraxia, contact our Maryland attorney for infant apraxia. The experienced birth injury attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph Rice will help you determine if you have a valid medical malpractice claim. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.
Infant Apraxia and its Causes in Maryland Children
Infant apraxia is a motor speech disorder affecting the brain’s ability to control muscle movements. Infants with apraxia have problems controlling their mouth and tongue to make sounds and, eventually, form words. Apraxia is not a cognitive disorder, but rather a neurological condition where the signals between the brain and the muscles that control speech are inhibited or interrupted. A child with apraxia can understand the words but lacks the motor skills to form them.
The causes of infant apraxia may be congenital and can occur while the baby is developing. However, the underlying cause may be a brain injury that happened during or after birth. There are many types of problems during delivery that can result in brain damage and infant apraxia. For example, oxygen deprivation, compression of the infant’s skull, a nuchal cord, or a prolonged delivery can damage the brain, resulting in apraxia.
Medical Malpractice Resulting in Brain Injuries and Infant Apraxia
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or medical professional deviates from the standard acceptable level of treatment. The deviation can be negligent conduct, an unjustified decision, or an error in the operating room or delivery room. Additionally, to prove medical malpractice, you must show that the doctor’s actions or inactions directly led to the injury or harm.
The majority of births are free from complications. However, complications at birth can subject an expectant mother and her child to several risks. If a doctor acts negligently, fails to accurately assess the risks, or mismanages a difficult delivery, any injuries suffered may be the result of medical malpractice. An inexperienced doctor or member of the medical staff may also contribute to brain injuries during birth through their negligent conduct.
One potential complication during delivery is a baby becoming lodged in the mother’s birth canal. When this happens, the excessive pressure applied to the child’s head can cause a brain injury. A doctor’s conduct could be negligent if they failed to recognize the potential risks or take proper precautions to ensure a safe delivery.
Under certain circumstances, the use of medical instruments to assist a difficult delivery may constitute medical malpractice. For example, the improper or inappropriate use of obstetric forceps could result in a severe brain injury. Forceps, which resemble large metal tongs, are used to help guide a baby through the birth canal. A delivering physician might apply excessive force, compressing the child’s head, fracturing the infant’s skull, or causing brain damage. Additionally, vacuum extractors could also cause brain injuries. A vacuum extractor is used to suck the baby out of the birth canal. While this is usually considered safer than forceps, a vacuum extractor can still cause catastrophic brain injuries if misused or used unnecessarily.
Several complications occur during birth that can limit the amount of oxygen a baby’s brain receives. For example, a nuchal cord, a condition in which the umbilical cord wraps around the infant’s neck, could deprive the baby of oxygen long enough to cause brain damage. If a physician fails to diagnose a nuchal cord during a delivery or does not properly treat it, those actions may constitute medical malpractice. If your child has suffered a brain injury due to medical malpractice, call our Maryland infant apraxia attorney today.
Symptoms and Signs of Infant Apraxia
A child suffering from apraxia may have difficulty forming words or speaking at all. However, infants do not communicate verbally as often as toddlers do, so some of these symptoms may go unnoticed for some time. Fortunately, there are other symptoms and signs parents can look for to determine if their child is suffering from apraxia as an infant. For example, an infant suffering from apraxia might have difficulty cooing, struggle to make sounds, repeat a limited number of sounds, or have trouble nursing because of motor control issues in the mouth and tongue.
As a child ages, the signs and symptoms become more pronounced. These symptoms include difficulty saying longer words, trouble imitating words or sounds, excessive movement of the mouth while trying to form a word or sound, and difficulty being understood.
If your child demonstrates any of these symptoms and you believe the condition is related to a birth injury, call our Maryland attorney for infant apraxia immediately. Maryland has a specific time limit for filing medical malpractice claims, so if you fail to act promptly, you may forfeit your right to file a medical malpractice claim for these birth injuries.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Infant Apraxia to Schedule a Free Consultation
You want your child to be able to communicate easily. Infant apraxia will make that difficult and will require years of expensive speech therapy. If your child’s infant apraxia is the result of a brain injury caused by medical malpractice, your physician may be liable for any injury or harm your child suffered. Call the experienced Maryland attorneys for infant apraxia at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice. Our attorneys will work diligently for compensation for all of your emotional suffering and economic losses. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.