For any family, expecting a newborn is a time of hope, anticipation, and joy. However, things may not always go as planned during childbirth. While medical professionals work diligently to ensure a safe delivery, sometimes unforeseen circumstances, medical negligence, or other factors can lead to birth injuries. In fact, according to one report, at least 60, 000 mothers experience complications each year from pregnancy and delivery.
These injuries can bring long-term complications that can prove financially and emotionally draining to the family. This article will guide you on how to recognize the red flags of birth injuries, including how to seek legal redress to ensure justice and proper care for your child and family.
Common Birth Injury Problems
There are a number of childbirth injuries that can occur during the process of labor and delivery. Here are some of the common ones:
Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus injury occurs when a network of nerves located in the shoulder and neck region is damaged due to excessive pulling or pressure on the baby’s head and neck during childbirth. This injury can lead to weakness or loss of movement in the affected arm and hand. Fortunately, most cases of brachial plexus injuries are temporary and improve over time with physical therapy, but severe cases may require surgical intervention.
Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders that can affect an infant’s muscle control and movement. It can occur when there is damage to the baby’s brain, often during childbirth. This condition can be triggered by oxygen deprivation, infections, or trauma during delivery. Cerebral palsy can range from mild to severe and may result in a lifelong disability.
Facial Nerve Injury
During childbirth, pressure or force on the baby’s face, particularly around the facial nerve area, can lead to facial nerve injuries. This can result in temporary or permanent weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles, known as facial nerve palsy. While most cases of facial nerve injury resolve on their own over time, some may require medical intervention or surgery to correct.
Fractures and Bone Injuries
The birthing process can put significant pressure on a baby’s fragile bones, especially the collarbone, arm, and leg bones. Fractures or bone injuries can occur during delivery, and while they typically heal with time, they can still be painful and require medical attention.
Recognizing Red Flags
Recognizing the red flags of childbirth injuries is crucial for the timely intervention and proper care of newborns. While not all injuries are immediately obvious, others can be easily noticed. For example, persistent crying or irritability, especially when accompanied by difficulty feeding or latching, can indicate underlying issues.
Noticeable asymmetry in limb movement or posture, as well as unusual stiffness or floppiness, may be indicative of nerve damage or musculoskeletal problems. You should also look out for delayed developmental milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up, or walking, which can be cause for concern. Also, any signs of seizures, breathing difficulties, or abnormal skin coloration should be promptly addressed.
Tip: If you spot any red flags, then seek help from your healthcare provider who can conduct a thorough assessment and order appropriate tests or imaging to determine the nature and extent of the injury.
Seeking Legal Redress For a Child Birth Injury
If you suspect that your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence or other factors, here are steps to consider when pursuing legal action:
Consult with a medical malpractice attorney
The first and most crucial step is to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney specializing in childbirth injury cases. An experienced childbirth injury lawyer like Chalik Law birth injury lawyer will evaluate the circumstances surrounding the birth injury and determine whether you have a valid case. The lawyer has a deep understanding of medical malpractice laws meaning that they can navigate the legal intricacies of your case effectively.
Birth injury attorneys often work with a network of medical experts who can provide professional opinions and testify on your behalf. Their expertise is invaluable in establishing the link between medical negligence and birth injury.
Investigate your Case
Your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to establish negligence. This involves reviewing medical records, consulting with medical experts, and identifying any deviations from the standard of care during childbirth. Request and collect all relevant medical records, including prenatal, labor, and postnatal records, to support your case.
Medical experts can also provide valuable insights into whether the birth injury was the result of medical negligence. Their testimony can be crucial in establishing liability. Gathering strong evidence is crucial to build a compelling case.
File a lawsuit
If your attorney believes you have a valid claim, they will file a lawsuit on your behalf against the healthcare providers or facility responsible for the childbirth injury. These parties include doctors, nurses, or the hospital. The legal action initiates the formal process to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, and long-term care needs.
Negotiate or litigate
After filing the lawsuit, there may be negotiations between your attorney, the defendants, and their insurers to reach a settlement. Your attorney will guide you through negotiation techniques to secure the compensation you deserve. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your case will proceed to trial, where a judge or jury will determine the outcome.
Your attorney will present your case, and, if successful, you may receive compensation for the injuries and damages suffered.
Childbirth injuries are emotionally and financially challenging for families. While childbirth complications can be unavoidable, when injuries result from medical negligence or improper care, it’s essential to hold those responsible accountable and seek compensation to provide the best possible future for your child. If you suspect a birth injury, consult with a qualified medical childbirth injury attorney to explore your legal options and ways to help protect your child’s rights and well-being.