When in the delivery room, both parents may get so caught up in the moment when their baby is born that they are not attuned to signs that perhaps something has gone awry. Parents may only begin to replay the birth scenario in their mind after observing that their baby hasn’t been developing as scheduled, or there are other peculiar symptoms. Of course, no parents want to imagine that their doctor had caused their baby birth injuries, but it is a sad reality that can happen to anyone.
If your child has missed growth milestones or shows symptoms of mental or physical distress, then you must get them an evaluation from another doctor and consider speaking with an attorney right away about a potential birth injury lawsuit.
What is considered a birth injury?
A birth injury is any kind of nerve, brain, or other physical damage that happens before, during, or after delivery. Birth injuries can also occur way before delivery, while the fetus is in the mother’s womb. Birth injuries can arise due to the mother using alcohol, drugs, or doing other things that aren’t healthy for the baby during pregnancy. However, birth injuries can happen due to doctor negligence and carelessness as well, including the medical staff who were present and assisting that doctor during delivery.
Examples of what can lead to birth injuries include:
- The doctor failing to identify and properly treat maternal infections
- The doctor or medical staff failing to monitor mother and baby during delivery
- The doctor failing to properly perform a C-section within a reasonable time-frame
- The doctor or medical staff not using delivery instruments correctly, such as overly aggressive use of vacuum extractors or forceps
- The doctor failing to identify umbilical cord complications
What symptoms should I look out for?
If you are concerned that your baby may have sustained a birth injury, there are certain symptoms that are recognizable fairly quickly after delivery, while others may take months or even years to be observed. It is crucial that parents and caregivers monitor their child’s growth from birth and on as closely as possible, and take note of abnormalities or developmental delays.
While not all symptoms are observable immediately following delivery, here are signs to watch out for that may implicate a birth injury has occurred:
- Skull fractures
- Arched back while crying
- Lowered heart rate
- Challenges with eating, swallowing, or suckling
- Low oxygen levels
- Drooling excessively
- Muscle looseness or stiffness
- Hand curled into claw-like shape
- Light sensitivity
I think my baby has a birth injury, what should I do next?
Many parents are inclined to contact their doctor and/or the hospital right away to express their concerns about their baby having a birth injury. However, by doing so, you may be actually alerting the hospital to where they will now do everything they can to avoid a lawsuit. Unfortunately, staff may destroy evidence, communicate with each other to get their story straight, or even fabricate medical documentation. The best thing you can do is contact a birth injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL who is familiar with birth injury lawsuits before doing anything else.
Thanks to Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into personal injuries and doctors causing birth injuries.