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Laryngeal nerve injury during birth

Expectant mothers and their infants in the state of Arizona sometimes have a difficult and risky experience before them. It is possible for conditions in the womb to be such as to cause harm to the developing fetus, and the stress and trauma of the delivery process also has the potential to inflict serious injuries. One of the most commonly encountered forms of birth trauma is disturbance of the laryngeal nerve, an important nerve located in the neck.

Paralysis of the vocal chord is one well-known effect of birth trauma, and disruption of the laryngeal nerve accounts for approximately 10 percent of these cases. It can lead to difficulty breathing and swallowing. The disturbance can be first noted when the infant has a hoarse cry or a distinct noise while breathing known as stridor. However, there are a wide variety of causes that may result in these conditions, and a doctor should thoroughly examine the affected area to ascertain that stress of the laryngeal nerve is the cause.

Laryngeal nerve paralysis usually heals within four to six weeks. Cases of severe trauma may take between six months and a year to resolve. The most severe cases require tracheotomy and gavage feeding.

Medical malpractice that results in a birth injury, or that fails to detect a dangerous situation that should have been readily apparent during the due course of normal treatment, may be extremely injurious to the life and future prospects of the child. An attorney who has experience in medical negligence litigation can advice the parents of a child who has been injured at birth of the remedies that may be available.

Source: Medscape, “Laryngeal Nerve Injury”, Nirupama Laroia, Feb. 2, 2015

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