In the United States, about seven out of every 1,000 babies born will suffer a birth injury, according to Paleopathology of Children.
For some babies, these catastrophic birth injuries are preventable and cause serious complications for the rest of their lives. Parents and caregivers may fear that certain signs your baby is showing or things they are failing to do means they suffered a birth injury.
If your child did suffer a preventable birth injury, your family may have a malpractice case against the medical care team and hospital that helped deliver your child.
What’s The Difference Between A Birth Defect And A Birth Injury?
A birth defect is something your baby is born with because of DNA mutation or harm that happened during development before or while the mother was pregnant. A birth injury is when something goes wrong before or during labor.
What Signs Should I Look For To Check If My Child Suffered A Preventable Birth Injury?
If you’re worried that your baby suffered a preventable birth injury, look out for these five signs:
- Your Child Is Showing Signs Of Developmental Delays
Babies typically develop new skills or hit certain milestones during the same time period as other babies their age. This range may be a couple of months, but if your child is taking more than that the recommended range, there could be a problem. For example, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention recommends that at two months old, a baby starts to smile and turns their head toward sounds. If your child fails to do these things, it could be a sign of a more significant issue. These delays can be cognitive or motor delays as a result of a traumatic, preventable injury during birth.
- Your Baby Has Limpness In Their Arm And Limited Movement
If your baby is showing signs that one of their arms is limp, has limited movement, paralyzed or lost sensation in their arms, hands, and fingers, they could be showing signs of Erb’s palsy, which at times can be prevented. Erb’s palsy, also known as brachial plexus palsy, occurs when the baby suffers an injury to nerves in their arms and spinal cord during labor. This could be the result of medical error or negligence if the doctor failed to recognize the shoulder dystocia that leads to Erby’s palsy. Errors using forceps or a vacuum during vaginal labor can also cause this condition. Two out of every 1,000 births in the United States will result in the baby having Erb’s palsy, according to OrthoInfo.
- Your Child Has Severe Behavioral Issues
If your child suffered a preventable birth injury, they may show aggression toward others, have a severe lack of social interaction, or inflict self-harm. They may also make repetitive body movements, stare at strange things, fail to pick up objects in front of their face, or they don’t make eye contact. These signs could all be indicative of a serious brain injury.
- Your Child Doesn’t Respond To Loud Noises Nor Starts To Make Noises
Some signs that your child is having issues is if they don’t start responding to verbal prompts, they do not begin speaking during the recommended CDC milestone guidelines, speech digresses, they favor listening with one ear, or they start to talk very loud or yell.
- Your Child’s Head Appears Much Smaller than Normal
If your child’s head appears much smaller than other babies their age, your baby may be suffering from microcephaly, which can be caused by a birth injury. Microcephaly is when the baby’s head is very small and can cause developmental issues. Microcephaly can occur while in the womb because of an infection or exposure to toxins, but if blood supply or oxygen is cut off to the baby during labor, it can also occur. In the case that blood or oxygen was deprived, you may have a medical malpractice case.
What Should I Do If I Think My Child Suffered A Preventable Birth Injury?
If your child is showing signs that they suffered a preventable birth injury, reach out to your pediatrician right away. After your child is in the care of a trusted doctor, give the nationally recognized lawyers at Ross Feller Casey a call to set up a free consultation.
Ross Feller Casey’s team has vast experience winning large rewards for birth injury cases. We have a team of doctors on our staff to help consult with your case and help us win you the largest sum possible. We want to help you provide for your child who suffered, so we don’t get paid unless we win your case.