What should you know about birth injuries?
It’s estimated that birth injuries are fairly common — but not every birth injury is noticed right away.
If you’ve recently given birth and you’re worried that your child may be injured because of the difficulties surrounding his or her delivery, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
1. There are usually early signs that point to problems
Some of the early warning signs that your child may have a serious birth injury include:
- Inconsolable crying
- Problems feeding
- Difficulty moving one or both arms or shoulders
- Wounds or bruises on the skull from a forced delivery with tools
- Abnormal facial features
- Abnormally-sized skull
- Swelling in the skull
If you detect any of these things, insist that your child have a full evaluation for any birth injuries — and don’t back down or be swayed away from your demands. Early identification and treatment is your child’s best hope for recovery and a better future.
2. Demand copies of relevant medical records
If your child has a birth injury, you may eventually need to pursue a lawsuit in order to get the money you need for his or her treatment and care. As difficult as it may be to think about the future, you want to do what you can to preserve evidence of medical malpractice and the presence of an injury since birth.
To keep evidence from being lost or misplaced, insist that you are provided with copies of your medical records during the pregnancy and delivery. That may be where the evidence of malpractice is hiding, not in your child’s own records. You want copies of your child’s medical records as well, however.
3. Ask for a written treatment plan
If it is determined that your child has an injury, ask your child’s doctors for a written treatment plan.
This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and reduces the chances that one error will compound another. Whether your child needs surgery, therapy or a combination of treatments, a written plan gives you — and any subsequent medical professionals brought onto the team — clarity and focus.
Birth injuries are naturally devastating events for the entire family. If your child is injured during delivery, consider all your legal options carefully.
Source: Safe Birth Project, “Baby Development: Types and Signs of Brain Damage,” Molly Bachechi, accessed March 02, 2018