Infant occupational therapy and pediatric occupational therapy assist infants and children who have disabilities or disorders affecting their motor skills or sensory processing. Pediatricians recommend occupational therapy if your child suffered a traumatic birth injury that harmed its neurological systems. Treatment is expensive and may be required for years, costing you and your family substantial resources while subjecting you and your child to severe emotional distress. If your doctor’s negligent conduct caused the birth injury, they might be liable for your child’s injury.
If your child suffered a catastrophic birth injury requiring years of occupational therapy, contact our Maryland attorneys for infants who need occupational therapy to evaluate your case and work for the compensation you and your family deserve. Call the knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.
What is Pediatric Occupational Therapy for Infants?
Infant occupational therapy helps infants develop the skills they will require as older children and adults. While a physical therapist will focus on abilities such as range of motion or endurance, a pediatric occupational therapist specializes in fine motor skills and sensory processing.
Delayed Development of Fine Motor Skills Due to Traumatic Birth Injuries
Neurological disorders, such as dystonia, affect the communication between your infant’s brain and muscles. Traumatic birth injuries and oxygen deprivation are possible causes of motor disorders. The type of motor disorder your infant exhibits depends on the area of the brain that is damaged as well as the severity of the injury. While complications from a difficult pregnancy and delivery could cause these injuries, in many instances, it is the negligent actions and decisions of your physician that are responsible for the harm your child suffered.
Sensory Processing Disorder Caused by Injuries During Childbirth in Maryland
Adults and children use their senses to read and react to their surroundings. The sensory system consists of preprogrammed responses to our environment. Sensory learning begins when we are infants and continues throughout our lives. For example, if a child touches a hot stove, that painful feeling becomes a sensory memory that helps ensure the behavior is not repeated.
Infants suffering from sensory processing disorder are unable to perceive their environment accurately; a disconnect exists between environmental stimuli and the infant’s ability to adapt to that stimuli. That means this is a purely cognitive disorder and not a behavioral issue. Because of the injury, the sensory system is not programming correctly, disorienting and confusing your child.
In many cases, the direct cause of sensory processing disorder is a doctor’s negligent care during childbirth or postnatal care. Traumatic birth injuries to your child’s brainstem or upper spinal cord can affect the nervous system and cause these kinds of disorders.
Types of Birth Injuries Resulting in Motor and Sensory Disorders in Maryland Infants
Despite all of the precautions taken to ensure a successful pregnancy and safe delivery, there are still several inherent risks associated with childbirth. Any damage to your child’s brain could adversely affect its fine motor skills or sensory processing. If this happens, your child can suffer a serious traumatic brain injury due to the mismanagement of your pregnancy or your doctor’s negligent actions.
Your child’s random movements in the womb can lead to the umbilical cord wrapping around their neck. This condition, known as a nuchal cord, rarely results in catastrophic injuries. Your doctor should diagnose this condition and treat it accordingly. However, if misdiagnosed or untreated, the compressed cord will restrict the flow of oxygen, blood, and nutrients to your child, damaging the brain.
Before delivery, your child should naturally shift position so the head is pointed towards the birth canal. If your child’s buttocks and feet are facing towards the birth canal, they are in the “breech position.” A potential complication of breech birth is oxygen deprivation. The umbilical cord could be compressed during delivery, limiting blood and oxygen to your child. Additionally, severe injuries can result from your doctor’s attempts to reposition your child. Any sustained oxygen deprivation or physical harm to your child’s head could cause brain damage.
The negligent or improper use of obstetric forceps can harm your infant’s fragile head. Forceps, which resemble tongs with curved ends, are generally used to guide a child through the birth canal if delivery is prolonged. Your physician will use the forceps to gently grip your child’s head, shepherding the infant through the birth canal. If excessive force is applied, forceps can substantially harm your baby, fracturing the skull and causing traumatic brain injury.
Depending on your situation, your doctor might prescribe Pitocin to induce labor. Pitocin, a synthetic hormone, is administered to induce labor and strengthen contractions. If not properly monitored, the medically induced contractions can follow too quickly and be too powerful. This pressure on your baby can limit the blood flow through the umbilical cord, resulting in severe oxygen deprivation and brain damage.
Infections also pose a risk to individuals in hospitals and medical facilities. During the length of your pregnancy, your physician should ensure that you do not contract an infection that could endanger you or your developing child. Misdiagnosing or failing to treat an infection could harm you and could lead to brain damage in your baby if it goes unchecked.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Newborn Injuries Leading to Occupational Therapy for a Free Consultation
It is heartbreaking for a parent to watch their child struggle with occupational therapy, working to improve their fine motor skills or sensory processing. The process is long, challenging, and expensive, and the situation is often worse if the underlying brain injury is the result of negligent medical malpractice. If your child has suffered a traumatic brain injury during birth and is facing years of pediatric occupational therapy, call the experienced Maryland attorneys for childbirth injuries requiring occupational therapy at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation on your case.