How do I Know if My Child Has a Birth Injury?
When you think about birth injuries, you may think that any such injury would be immediately noticeable to parents upon delivery of their newborn baby. After all, the entire focus of the parents is likely to be on the baby that they have just worked so hard to bring into the world. While some injuries may be visible right away, others remain obscured from view until months after the baby is born.
One way in which parents may come to discover that their baby was injured during labor and delivery is when the baby seems delayed in reaching developmental milestones. While each child develops at his or her own rate, there are general guidelines that provide a range within which almost all babies do things like making eye contact, rolling over, vocalizing, crawling, walking, and so on. Your pediatrician can help you to know whether your baby is simply taking his or her time with a particular milestone or whether an apparent delay could mean that something more serious is going on.
Seizures, abnormal or spastic body movements, or tremors are another way that parents can become aware of the possibility that their child experienced a birth injury. Just as every child with a developmental delay does not necessarily have a birth injury, not every child who has seizures or abnormal movement was injured at birth. When any of these things happen, it is important to immediately bring them to the attention of your child’s pediatrician so that they can look into the cause of the seizures or abnormal movements.
Developmental delays, seizures, and abnormal body movements can be indicators of a possible birth injury. While you are working with your pediatrician to address these issues, it is also important to take time to think back to your birth experience and determine whether any risk factors for birth injury were present at that time. For example, the use of forceps and vacuum extractors has been linked to birth injuries. If these devices were used during your delivery, there is an increased chance that your child was injured. Also, if you ended up having an emergency cesarean birth, think about how that decision was made by medical staff and how long of a delay there was between the decision to operate and the time that your surgery began. A variety of birth injuries can be caused by delay in performing an emergency c-section, so if that was a part of your birth experience, it is possible that your child’s current condition indicates that they were harmed by the delay. You are sure to remember whether your baby appeared to be blue or purple and limp or silent upon delivery instead of red-faced and crying. This may also indicate birth injury or birth trauma. If you recall things from your delivery that could increase the chance that your child experienced a birth injury, tell your pediatrician right away so that they can explore that possibility.
If your child is now showing signs of a birth injury, you may wonder whether it was caused by medical negligence. The experienced Tennessee birth injury attorneys at Bailey & Greer, PLLC would like to learn more about what happened. When you talk to us about your case, we will answer all of your questions, explain your options, and help you decide how to proceed. We can help you to pursue the recovery that you deserve so that you can provide your child with the care that they need. To learn more, call us at (888) 470-9143 to schedule a time to discuss your case. At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we are small enough to care, big enough to fight, and experienced enough to win.