Parents of newborns are quick to ask whether something happening during the birth process that caused harm to their child. Sometimes, there are signs that are a reasonable cause for concern. Of course, there are also instances where we fear for our children without a lot of foundation.
Ground Zero for Concern
The most reasonable cause of concern for parents of a newborn with a birth injury is if they were told that their child suffered a loss of oxygen. Birth injury cases have a lot of different fact patterns. But, the most common thread our birth injury lawyers see is oxygen deprivation during the birthing process. If you are told that your child was deprived of oxygen for any significant period, there is a reason to fear a birth injury that could impact your child. Still, it does not mean that your child suffered any injury.
A related foundation for concern is if you experienced trauma during childbirth that was consistent with oxygen deprivation. So what does trauma include? Trauma includes a prolapsed umbilical cord, the use of forceps or a vacuum, placenta previa, placental abruption, the use of excessive Pitocin, or meaningful difficulty with delivery are all consistent with childbirth. Again, none of these things necessarily mean that there was an injury to the child. Children also suffer these traumas and escape with minor injuries which have no meaningful impact on their lives. But, should your antenna be up and should you be asking the doctors very pointed questions? Absolutely.
Early Diagnosis of Brain Injuries
If you or I suffer from a brain injury, the signs and symptoms of a brain injury are apparent. Usually, it comes from an identifiable trauma. With small children, your ability to see evidence of injury with the naked eye will depend on the nature and severity of the injury.
If the injury is severe, you might notice legitimate symptoms before you take your baby home. But, you will most likely not see symptoms of a birth injury until the child starts to grow and approach clearly delineated milestones.
A pediatrician can also do testing to give you a better indication of the risks your child may face and what the symptoms you are seeing might mean. An MRI or CT scan can also tell you a lot. Should your child get such a test? You have to balance the need to know whether it makes sense to put your child through that type of testing, which is challenging for young children.
Symptoms You Can See
Of course, seizures, paralysis, and tremors are loud signs not only of a possible birth injury but of an acute medical emergency. When you are looking for more subtle symptoms, keep an eye on babies that are:
- highly fussy and irritable
- cut on their head or face
- having difficulties sleeping while lying down
- struggling to feed
- exhibiting a limp arm
- exhibiting symptoms of facial paralysis
- showing weak muscle tone
- having difficulty breathing
As children age, you are looking for:
- delayed milestones in walking, talking, crawling and/or sitting up
- involuntary muscle movements
- difficulties in hearing or seeing
- difficulty controlling body function as they move past being toddlers
- reading delays
Getting a Lawyer to Fight for You
If you fear that your child has suffered from a birth injury and you do not know where to turn, I can help you. Call me today at 800-553-8082 or fill out this claim form online. We can help you sort through your case and your options to receive compensation both for you and your child.
- Settlement value of birth injury cases. If you have a child who has suffered from a birth injury, money matters. Look at the potential value of these claims.