What You Need to Know If Your Infant Was Diagnosed With Torticollis

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A difficult birth can result in pain and complications for your baby. During birth, your child’s neck may be twisted in a challenging and dangerous way. This twisting can stretch out the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck and cause your baby’s head to tilt to one side.

Your Baby May Be Diagnosed With Torticollis

Before a diagnosis is made, you may recognize symptoms of torticollis in your child. These symptoms may appear shortly after birth or take a few months to develop, and they include:

  • Tilting the head in one direction
  • Having trouble feeding on one side
  • Having difficulty turning the head to one side to track something with the eyes or to respond to a sound
  • A flat spot on the head

Since there are many possible causes of torticollis, your child’s doctor will likely perform a physical exam and order imaging tests such as MRIs, x-rays, or ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis and to check for any other health problems.

Once torticollis is diagnosed, treatment can begin. In mild cases, you may be advised on certain stretches or movements that you can do for your child to strengthen the sternocleidomastoid muscle and reverse the condition. However, this approach does not work for all children—particularly those who suffer more significant birth injuries.

Some children with torticollis will require the use of a frequency-specific microcurrent device, Botox injections, muscle release surgery, and physical therapy.

How Medical Negligence During Delivery Causes Torticollis

Several different situations could cause a baby’s neck to be twisted during delivery. When the injury is caused by a medical professional’s negligence or incompetence, you may have a claim for medical malpractice. Examples of these situations include the following:

Breech birth.

The sternocleidomastoid muscle may be injured if the baby is not delivered head first. Medical professionals should know the position of the baby before delivery begins and advise the mother about the risks of a breech delivery. In some cases, these risks may be minimized by a C-section delivery.

Vacuum-assisted birth.

Vacuums may be used to help deliver a baby faster. A doctor will place a suction cup on the top of the baby’s head prior to delivery. The suction cup is attached to a pump and the baby is extracted more quickly than would otherwise happen. Vacuum-assisted births can be safe when the tool is used correctly, but they can also result in birth injuries such as torticollis when the medical professional makes a mistake.

Forceps assisted birth.

Forceps are another tool that may be used to help deliver a baby quickly. A skilled physician who knows how to use forceps safely may grasp the baby’s head with the forceps. Any error on the part of the physician may result in a birth injury such as torticollis.

If your baby was hurt in one of these ways and required surgery, significant amounts of physical therapy, or suffered a permanent injury, you may need to take action.

Talk to a Kentucky Birth Injury Lawyer About Your Child’s Injury

There are many potential causes of torticollis, including medical negligence. A doctor can help determine the cause of the condition. If your child suffered a serious form of torticollis that required surgery or ongoing physical therapy and the torticollis was caused by a medical professional’s negligence during birth, your child may have the right to recover damages in a birth injury lawsuit. Our staff nurse and experienced birth injury lawyers can review what happened to your child and advise you on your options for protecting your child’s rights.

A successful birth injury lawsuit may result in your child’s recovery of damages for past and future healthcare costs, physical pain, emotional suffering, and other losses and expenses. 

Has Your Family Been Impacted By A Birth Injury?

If your family has been impacted by a birth injury you need to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.450.4456 to schedule a free consultation.

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