What Is Neonatal Hypotonia?
A baby suffering from neonatal hypotonia exhibits decreased muscle tone that affects the baby’s posture and movement. Hypotonia in newborns, also called “congenital hypotonia,” can be divided into two types:
- Central - Central hypotonia is characterized by low muscle tone causing an interruption between nerve signals in the brain and/or spinal cord.
- Peripheral - Peripheral hypotonia occurs when there is nerve damage in the spinal cord and the surrounding muscles.
Many hypotonic babies will have trouble with motor skills, including difficulty speaking or controlling their mouths and throat when feeding, and exhibiting a lack of control over their head movement. Other common symptoms include lifeless arms and legs that flop to the baby’s side. These symptoms are often why neonatal hypotonia is called “floppy baby syndrome.”
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What Causes Neonatal Hypotonia?
Neonatal hypotonia usually suggests an existing health condition. For example, cerebral palsy and hypotonia are often mutually exclusive, meaning that if a newborn displays symptoms of one condition, then he or she may also display another. Neonatal hypotonia can also be caused by lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during or directly after the birthing process, which may be due to medical negligence.
Neonatal hypotonia is often treated with a combination of physical therapy and occupational therapy. Sometimes, speech-language therapy is sought if the child is having trouble speaking. Although these treatments are available, the costs associated with them tend to add up very quickly.
Was My Baby’s Neonatal Hypotonia Caused at Birth?
A birth injury lawyer can help you determine if your baby’s hypotonia was caused by negligence at birth. The attorneys at Grant & Eisenhofer have extensive experience with birth injury claims and are here to listen to your potential case at no cost to you. We understand the delicate nature of these cases as well as the complex laws behind them. If your baby’s hypotonia was caused by lack of oxygen due to medical malpractice, G&E may be able to file a birth injury claim to help recover past, present and future costs associated with your child’s injury that will help him or her have a better quality of life.
Questions About Neonatal Hypotonia? Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
If you believe that your baby’s neonatal hypotonia was caused at birth due to the negligence of medical personnel, please contact us. One of our attorneys can listen to your situation and offer options that may help you and your family.