Birth injuries can result from physical injuries sustained by a baby during the process of birth or developmental complications experienced by a fetus during pregnancy. Many factors can cause a birth injury like maternal infections, premature birth, prolonged labor, oxygen deprivation, negligence of the medical staff, or strong forces of traction experienced by the fetus while passing through the birth canal.
Most birth injuries are minor lacerations and heal on their own without medical intervention. However, major birth injuries like bone fractures, nerve damage, or other serious conditions are often permanent and lead to lifelong disability.
Modern medical techniques help perform prenatal assessments and significantly reduce the chances of a birth injury. Moreover, if doctors suspect high chances of a birth injury, they choose to perform a cesarean delivery, which has also helped bring down the number of birth injuries in the US.
However, despite all efforts, it can still happen. Therefore, this article will discuss the steps to take after you suspect a birth injury in your newborn.
Get Legal Services
A birth injury can occur due to natural reasons or result from medical negligence. Medical negligence is when doctors or medical staff fail to provide optimal care to the patients. If you suspect your baby’s birth injury results from medical negligence, seek legal help. Take the services of an attorney experienced in dealing with birth injury malpractice lawsuits before the statute of limitations expires in your state.
A birth injury lawyer helps you navigate the legal world of medical negligence and allows you to receive adequate financial compensation required for the treatment and upbringing of your child. A birth injury can cause parents to go through severe emotional and financial distress, and receiving the maximum amount of financial compensation in the least amount of time from the responsible institution or people is the least that can be done to help. Your lawyer will most likely hold the doctors and staff involved in delivering your baby or the hospital accountable for the birth injury lawsuit.
The most common types of medical errors that lead to a birth injury include:
- Unprofessional and unnecessary use of forceps
- Improper use of medicine
- Failure to monitor the condition and resolve issues of mother and baby during birth
- Failure to diagnose maternal infections during pregnancy
Some birth injury lawsuits are resolved within weeks, whereas some cases may take years to settle based on the case’s complexity. Therefore, having the support of an attorney can help you stay strong and hopeful through this challenging time in your life.
Qualified attorneys often stay in contact with you even after your case is over to follow up and resolve any unexpected problems that may arise.
Take Medical Help
You should seek the best possible medical care for your baby after a birth injury. Some babies sustain severe birth injuries that are easily recognizable, like fractures and paralysis, making immediate treatment possible. However, some babies suffer from internal injuries that are not easy to recognize and only become evident later in life when the child fails to achieve normal developmental milestones like clapping, speaking, walking, and more.
If you notice any signs of a birth injury, consult a reputable pediatrician to diagnose and find treatment. Immediate medical intervention can help save your baby from further problems and may even protect them from life-long disability. The most common symptoms of a birth injury include:
- Untoned muscles
- Abrasions and swelling of the body
- Seizures within 48 hours of birth
- Slow suckling
- Inability to hold objects
- Speech impairment
- Breathing difficulty
- Requiring CPR after birth
- Walking disability
- Intellectual impairment
It can be challenging for parents to identify a birth injury, but if you notice any of the symptoms, consult your pediatrician immediately to determine whether the symptoms result from a birth injury or another illness.
In case of a birth injury, the pediatrician will help you design a treatment plan based on the type and intensity of the injury. Severe injuries like brain, nerve, or bone damage may require surgery. Other conditions resulting from a birth injury, like Erb’s palsy, can be treated with physical therapy. Moreover, occupational and alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage therapy, and recreational exercise therapy may be employed to help manage the symptoms of a birth injury.
Get Community Support
Community support can play a significant role in helping you raise a child with a birth injury. Community support can also help your child lead a more normal life. Many birth injury support groups exist to help you on your journey of raising a disabled child. Some of the support groups are as follows:
Mommies of Miracles
It is an online support group made by and made for mothers raising children with developmental impairments resulting from a birth injury.
It is a local support organization that helps children with intellectual problems.
The center for disease control and prevention
You can access the CDC’s online database that lists the resources that families raising a child with cerebral palsy can utilize.
The Wrap Up
Birth injuries can result naturally or from medical negligence. Either way, it can be terrifying for parents. If you suspect a birth injury in your newborn, immediately seek legal help to hold the responsible authorities accountable and seek medical help to get your child treated as soon as possible, which can help reduce the chances of developing a lifelong disability. Lastly, seek community support as it can play a significant role in managing your mental health and can help you better deal with the challenges of raising a child affected by a birth injury. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the steps to take after you suspect a birth injury in your newborn.