What Are My Options If My Child Has Suffered a Birth Injury?
Discovering your child has suffered a birth injury can be devastating. If a healthcare provider, doctor, midwife, or nurse was responsible, they should be responsible for paying for the care your child needs. It’s only natural to panic, but the best thing to do for your infant is to try and remain calm. If possible, refrain from communicating with the delivering doctor and hospital to avoid inadvertently taking responsibility, and focus on getting immediate medical help for your baby.
Seek Medical Treatment
The most important task is seeking the proper medical treatment your child needs to recover. Early intervention and treatment are often vital to helping improve a child’s wellbeing. Many birth injuries are immediately apparent, such as severe nerve damage and skull fractures, which require emergency medical care and possibly surgery. The medical team must also carefully monitor their health to prevent further harm from possible complications such as imbalances in electrolytes and blood sugar, brain bleeds, respiratory problems, seizures, poor perfusion, and infections.
Other birth injuries or the effects may not be obvious. Enrolling your child in Early Intervention (EI) programs that provide numerous therapies will help maximize their development and skills. These can include physical therapy to help with gross motor skills, occupational therapy for fine motor skills, speech therapy for communication and swallowing difficulties, medications to manage and reduce symptoms, etc.
Should I Contact a Birth Injury Attorney?
After you have sought the treatment, support, and care you need from a trusted healthcare provider, contact an attorney experienced in handling birth injury cases. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine whether you have a valid claim for medical negligence, who the potentially liable parties are, and your legal options. Most importantly, an attorney will ensure your family’s rights to seek justice and obtain compensation are protected. While you focus on helping your child heal and recover, they will investigate what caused the birth injuries and collect evidence of the preventable medical error.
Highly skilled birth injury attorneys often have extensive knowledge of obstetrics, neonatal care, etc., and the professional connections and resources to hire medical professionals, which can be invaluable. Correctly interpreting medical records and understanding complex medical information will be critical to proving that the expected medical standard of care was deviated from, which caused the birth injury.
How To Recognize a Birth Injury in Your Child
Physicians are responsible for diagnosing a birth injury in your child, but staying aware of the potential signs can help you better advocate for their best interests.
- Cannot move one of their limbs
- Seizures within 48 hours of birth
- Excessively lethargic or irritable
- Hearing or vision issues
- Problems with muscle tone (stiff or weak muscles/limbs)
- Missing typical developmental milestones for their age (i.e., not rolling over, smiling, standing)
- Prefer one arm/hand over the other
If you notice any of these signs or something else that seems “off,” contact your child’s pediatrician as soon as possible to voice your concerns.
Need Immediate Help?
If you are concerned or have questions about a birth injury, speak to a highly skilled Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyer for a free consultation today.