Birth injuries affect around 280,000 newborns and mothers every year in the United States, despite the fact that around 50% of them could be prevented. If left untreated, there can be severe consequences to a birth injury. If you believe you or your newborn could be suffering from a birth injury, it is worth looking into a consultation with a birth injury lawyer to determine whether it will be possible for you and your family to receive the compensation you need to obtain justice and peace of mind. Here is a guide to how to determine whether a birth injury has occurred.
General symptoms in newborns
Some symptoms of birth injuries may be immediately apparent to medical professionals and parents during or after delivery, but it may also take some monitoring after birth to determine that your child has suffered or is suffering from a birth injury.
If your child arches their back while crying, has trouble breathing, or experiences difficulties with sucking, eating, or swallowing, these could be signs of a birth injury. More symptoms include excessive drooling, seemingly random but prolonged bouts of fussiness; high pitched crying or grunting sensitivity to light, lethargy, nausea, and even seizures.
However, these symptoms do not always indicate birth injury: There are several conditions in newborns that can also produce these symptoms. Make sure to consult with your pediatrician before jumping to the conclusion that your child has suffered a birth injury. Trust your instincts, but don’t make rash decisions and assumptions without thinking them through first.
Health-related symptoms in newborns
There are more health conditions that infants can suffer from that could indicate the presence of a birth injury. These can include conditions like anemia, vision changes, high-frequency hearing loss, dizziness, hypertension or hypotension, low heart rate, and low oxygenation levels in the blood, inflamed nasal passages, poor weight gain, headaches, wheezing, persistent coughing, constipation, jaundice, or a waxy appearance on the skin.
Some of these symptoms will only be able to be determined by a doctor who is examining the child. Ideally, if a pediatrician discovers multiple symptoms like this, they will conduct further examination to determine whether the baby has been affected by a birth injury.
Symptoms that may develop after infancy
When children are between one and two years old, or between 12 and 24 months old, more symptoms may become apparent. Your doctor can help you determine the severity of these symptoms should they occur in your child. These symptoms can include the loss of full range of bodily movement (also known as ataxia), difficulties with walking and motor skills development, speech problems and poor coordination or muscle control, difficulties associated with problem solving, and inability to dress themselves or become potty trained.
Determining whether you have a case
With symptoms like these, it is important to keep track of the expert-developed list of developmental milestones, along with the average age when children reach them and the age when your child reaches them. If there are significant delays or a significant lack of milestones reached, it may be a good idea to reach out to a medical professional for an examination.
As soon as you and your doctor believe there is a chance of a birth injury having occurred, it is crucial that you book a consultation with a skilled birth injury lawyer before the statute of limitations on your potential birth injury case expires.
A good birth injury lawyer can help you through the ins and outs of a birth injury case, helping you collect medical records, having experts review your case, arguing your side in court, and assisting you in getting the justice and compensation you and your family deserve. If you believe your child is exhibiting the signs of a birth injury, act sooner rather than later.