Effects of birth injury to the laryngeal nerve

Parents in North Carolina sometimes must cope with a birth injury to their newborn. One type of injury attributed to birth trauma is called laryngeal nerve injury. Although the condition often heals, the symptoms can be alarming and the treatment lengthy.

A grating or creaking cry from an infant indicates the possibility that one of the laryngeal nerves is paralyzed. Swallowing may be difficult if the superior branch is paralyzed. When central nervous system trauma effects both laryngeal nerves, asphyxia and severe difficulty breathing can result.

Birth injuries to the laryngeal nerves apparently result from the posture of the fetus within the uterus. A rotated head with a lateral flexing can impact the laryngeal nerves. Similar head movement during delivery can also cause the injury. This situation accounts for 10 percent of vocal cord birth injuries. The paralysis usually goes away in 4 to 6 weeks, but full recovery may take up to one year. When both laryngeal nerves are injured, then a tracheotomy and tube feeding will be necessary.

A prolonged recovery for an infant injured at birth can present parents with financial pressures like high medical bills and unexpectedly long periods away from work. In situations in which doctor negligence may have missed warning signs leading up to a birth injury, the family may be able to recover damages. Consulting with an attorney familiar with medical malpractice could help a family determine if medical records indicate negligent actions by the medical team. An attorney might also be able to advise the family about long-term costs that may arise as an injured infant recovers or faces disability.

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