When a person or couple has been hoping and waiting for a baby and that reality finally comes to light, the joy can be overwhelming. For some couples though, this joy can be overtaken by fear if something is not right with their embryo or baby. Birth injuries are an unfortunate reality and to help, here are some cautionary notes on what to look for and what to do if your baby might have suffered a birth injury.
Some birth injuries can be seen right away, but others may take months or even years before they become apparent. Birth injury symptoms can be physical, mental, and developmental conditions that could be the result of a doctor’s error. Parents and caregivers are the ones who see their children grow, and are often the first to observe when something just isn’t right. All parents are encouraged to continually monitor their newborn and young child’s development, while taking note of abnormalities and getting a doctor’s input as soon as possible.
After the child is born, there are a few signs of birth injury that may be present. Not every symptom means that a birth injury has happened, but there may be damage from something that went awry during the delivery process or when administering a treatment shortly thereafter. If your child exhibits any of the symptoms below after being born, it could be due to a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional’s mistake. As a personal injury lawyer from Cohen & Cohen explains, symptoms of a birth injury that every parent should look out for include:
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty swallowing, eating, or suckling
- Arched back while crying
- Facial nerve injury
- Low oxygen levels
- High-pitched crying or general fussiness
- Low heart rate
- Muscle looseness or stiffness
- Skull fractures
- Absent or weak reflexes
- Sensitivity to light
- Hand curled in claw shape
As stated above, some birth injuries may take years to notice. Parents may believe everything is healthy in their growing little one only to suddenly take notice of certain characteristics that don’t seem normal. Birth injuries may only become observable after the child has reached around 1-2 years old. Signs of birth injuries at this age can entail difficulties related to speech, eating, drinking, using cups, grasping, crawling, walking, memory, muscle spasms, noise response, poor coordination, locomotion, vision, or hearing. After 2 years old, symptoms of a birth injury could be:
- Difficulty walking up or down stairs
- Difficulty running
- Muscle looseness or stiffness
- Muteness, deafness, or blindness
- Difficulties eating, drinking, or dressing without help
- Shakiness or tremors
- Onset of developmental disabilities
- Unable to draw circles or lines
- Unable to understand full sentences
- Unable to speak complete statements
- Problems with fine motor skills
Parents who notice birth injury symptoms may need to visit another doctor for proper treatment of their child. Depending on the type of injury or disability, the child may also require additional assistance for their lifetime. But going up against a medical provider or facility while dealing with the stress of the situation can feel overwhelming, which is why parents may seek the assistance of a legal team to help them through. As a parent or caregiver, it’s important to know that there are pathways to seek a sense of justice in what has happened to your child. If you realize that your baby has a birth injury and that a doctor is likely at fault, you would understandably want to take action in some way. Thankfully, there are legal means to do so.
Contact a qualified lawyer today to find out more about these and other parental issues.