Laryngeal Nerve Birth Injuries
Posted in Medical Malpractice on February 24, 2021
Childbirth is an exciting time—but it can also be very risky. Without proper care and training, medical professionals such as nurses, surgeons, and obstetricians can commit devastating acts of negligence that harm both mother and child. One common birth injury involves the laryngeal nerves, or the nerves responsible for breathing, crying, and swallowing. If your child sustains this damage during delivery, you could hold the at-fault healthcare worker liable for his or her injuries.
Symptoms of Laryngeal Nerve Injuries
We have four laryngeal nerves in our bodies: two on the left side of the larynx, and two on the right side of the larynx. These nerves are responsible for controlling the larynx’s functions, which include swallowing coordination, respiration control, speaking, and airway protection. Any damage to the laryngeal nerves can lead to serious complications, including the inability to breathe.
Symptoms of a laryngeal nerve injury include the following.
- Difficulty speaking
- Hoarseness in the voice
- Difficulty swallowing
- Breathing problems
Because laryngeal nerve damage can be extremely dangerous, it is important for doctors to diagnose this condition as quickly as possible. A trained physician should be able to detect laryngeal nerve damage very soon after delivery. Signs include a hoarse cry or stridor, a high-pitched whistling sound that occurs when the child takes a breath.
Causes of Laryngeal Nerve Injuries During Childbirth
The cause of laryngeal nerve injuries in newborns is unknown. Some experts believe that an infant may develop this condition if his or her head moves in an unnatural way, either during childbirth or while he or she is still in the womb. In other cases, a doctor fails to diagnose laryngeal nerve damage after he or she is born, leading to a worsening condition and severe, life-threatening complications, such as asphyxia and brain damage.
It can take between four to six weeks to heal from a laryngeal nerve injury. In severe cases, recovery can take between six months to one year. In the meantime, a child may require a tracheotomy, gavage feeding, and other specialized treatment, which can be expensive and difficult for a family to support.
If you believe your child developed a laryngeal nerve injury due to a doctor’s negligent actions, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit against him or her. You may also file a laryngeal nerve injury lawsuit if your doctor failed to diagnose your child’s condition, leading to preventable complications.
How Long Do You Have to File a Missouri Malpractice Claim?
If you believe that your child sustained a laryngeal nerve injury due to the negligence of a medical professional, it is important to act quickly. Missouri, like most states, establishes a time limit known as the statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims. In most cases, you have two years from the date of the injury to file the lawsuit.
There are certain rules that could extend your filing deadline. Since your child was under the age of 18 at the time of the injury, he or she has until his or her 20th birthday to file the lawsuit. Missouri’s statute of repose, which states that a victim cannot file a claim more than 10 years after the date of the malpractice, does not apply in these situations.
If you believe you have grounds for a birth injury lawsuit, contact a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can identify your statute of limitations and take the first steps toward securing compensation for your child and your family. Speak to a birth injury attorney as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options.