Obvious Signs of Birth Injuries to Look Out For
A birth injury is a physical injury a child suffers before, during, or shortly after childbirth. Birth injuries are caused by improper birthing techniques, lack of oversight, and poor decision-making by an OB/GYN, midwife, administrator, hospital staff, or someone on the delivery team.
Birth injuries cause physical, emotional, and intellectual hardships that could affect the child for life. A child who suffers birth injuries will likely require costly medical intervention. If your child demonstrates uncommon behavior or if you notice milestone delays, speak with your doctor right away. If your doctor doesn’t adequately address your concerns, you have every right to seek a second medical opinion.
Frequent Birth Injury Symptoms
Many types of medical errors can cause birth injuries. They often result when the person performing the delivery applies too much force, which can lead to shoulder dystocia and other complications. The misuse of forceps or a vacuum delivery apparatus may cause brachial plexus injury, skull fracture, and other serious problems. Failure to provide adequate prenatal care, perform a timely c-section, and properly monitor the baby during and after delivery can also have devastating consequences for your child.
If there are complications during the delivery, failure to order a timely C-section may lead to oxygen deprivation and other serious complications for the child, including cerebral palsy, Erb’s Palsy, Klumpke’s Palsy, or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy HIE).
Some birth injuries are immediately noticeable, but others take longer to become apparent. You’ll want to monitor your child’s growth and development and report any of the following symptoms to your child’s pediatrician:
- Arching back
- A bruised, bleeding, or misshapen head
- Excessive crying
- Cognitive delays
- Excessive coughing
- Chronic pain
- Yellow-tinged skin
- Sensitivity to light or sounds
- Unusual eye movements
- Fussiness and colic
- Swelling in the face, head, or shoulder
- Lack of muscle tone
- Breathing issues
- Speech delays
- An arm that hangs down away from the body
- Memory issues
- Difficulty learning
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty eating or swallowing
- Spastic or jerky movements
- Stiff, crossing, or scissoring legs
- Muscle weakness
- Lack of mobility
- Atrophy in the hand or forearm
- Facial paralysis
- Difficulty walking, standing, or crawling
- Failure to recognize familiar faces
Milestones to Watch Out for
A milestone is an action or behavior that marks a significant change in your child’s development. It’s important to remember that milestones are general guidelines, and every child develops at their own pace. For example, a baby can begin to stand and start walking with assistance at nine to 12 months, but it may take longer. However, if your child isn’t walking unassisted by 18 months, you’ll want to consult a pediatrician.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), development milestones include:
- Notices familiar faces
- Moves arms and legs
- Watches you move
- Looks at objects such as toys
- Opens mouth for breast or bottle when hungry
- Makes sounds and laughing noises
- Turns their head toward the sound of your voice
- Looks at their hands
- Sits up
- Reacts to their name
- Reacts to “peek-a-boo”
- Shows facial expressions
- Looks for hidden objects
- Calls parents “mama” or “dada”
- Understands “no”
- Pulls themselves up to stand
- Waves “bye-bye”
Compensation Available for Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice
Birth injuries may cause severe conditions that require lifelong medical intervention and special care. This can generate astronomical medical bills and other expenses for the family. In many cases, a parent will have to take time away from work or quit their job to serve as a caretaker for their injured child.
A medical malpractice claim for birth injuries includes these types of damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Medical devices
- Reduced earning potential
- Occupational therapy
- At-home nursing care
- Wrongful death
If someone at the hospital made an error that harmed your child, it may be medical malpractice. The experienced litigators at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. will seek damages against anyone whose negligent behavior injured your child.
Dedicated to Helping Our Clients
The experienced trial lawyers at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. in Denver, Colorado, have won record-breaking settlements and verdicts for our clients. Our firm is committed to getting justice for parents and their children who have suffered from the negligence of others.
You can depend on us to guide you through the legal process and always treat you and your family with compassion and respect. If your child is showing signs of a birth injury, don’t hesitate to seek legal counsel. Our birth injury attorneys are standing by to hear from you.
Call us at (303) 759-9945 to schedule your free initial consultation.