Knowing you are going to have a baby is one of the most gratifying experiences in a person’s life. During pregnancy, parents spend a lot of time nesting, preparing, and ensuring their future baby gets the best medical care and health possible.
Even though they try to provide the best care for their babies, medical negligence can turn their happiest day into a tragedy. The saddest part is that most injuries a baby can encounter during childbirth could have been prevented.
What Is A Birth Injury?
Birth injury describes the impairment of a newborn’s body function or structure caused by negligence at the time of birth. It is common for newborns to suffer injuries due to physical pressure exerted by the delivery canal as they pass through it.
In many cases, birth injuries can lead to lifelong medical issues, including developmental and neurological disorders, which can incur hefty expenses in the form of lifelong medical care. Without proper medical treatment, you risk losing your child’s cognitive, physical, and emotional abilities. In some cases, they may be in constant pain.
Know Your Legal Options
Birth injury attorneys work aggressively to determine how medical malpractice was committed by the hospital, the physician who delivered the baby, and other healthcare providers involved in the birth.
In addition, they work closely with the physician to ensure they fully understand your child’s medical needs. Those suffering from birth injuries such as cerebral palsy may incur additional costs in the form of home care and assistive medical devices.
How Does It Work?
Your birth injury lawyer will carefully assess everything in building a successful case, ensuring you are satisfied with the outcome. Setting expectations is the first step toward satisfying the client. After all, parents are entrusting them with their child’s future.
Next, they contact medical professionals and doctors to gather documents and handle all the paperwork. This is an essential step to prove your child was harmed by a medical professional or institute.
As a final step, the lawyer will present the collected evidence to the defendant’s legal party to reach a settlement case. If they cannot secure the highest possible compensation, the case will be taken to court.
A trusted legal partner evaluates your case free of charge, ensuring that the child is protected and cared for throughout the process. Most legal companies work on a contingency basis as well.
Be Aware Of The Common Injuries
Injuries sustained during delivery can permanently disable and debilitate a child. The damage can affect various body parts, ranging from mild to severe.
There can be many types of birth injuries. Here are a few examples:
The delivery of a baby can result in the presence of subperiosteal hemorrhage or bleeding underneath the bone. In most cases, cephalohematomas are found in the skull but can also be found in other bones.
- Fractured Bones
These are the most common birth injuries. There are various fracture types, but the most common is clavicle fracture, a condition that occurs when the shoulder of the baby gets caught on the pubic bone of the mother during delivery.
- Brachial Plexus Injuries
An extensive network of nerves connects the spinal cord with the shoulder, the arm, and the hand. During birth, the nerves that run from the scalp to the elbow may stretch or tear, causing weakness in the arms, paralysis, or loss of sensation.
- Brain Injuries
There are only a few cases of these injuries during birth, but they are serious. This includes bleeding in the brain, fractures to the skull, or damage to the brain stem, just to name a few. Depending on the severity of the injury, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, or seizures may result.
Importance Of Birth Injury Awareness
Many birth injuries can have long-term consequences, including hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy (CP), periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), intellectual impairment, and seizures. Knowing their causes beforehand can help you take preventive measures to ensure your child’s safe birth. It will also help in alleviating any complications you may encounter during labor.
Develop A Treatment And Therapy Plan
According to the Disability and Rehabilitation journal, some parents suffer intense grief when they learn their children have been born with birth injuries. It is possible for parents experiencing intense grief to benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, which can assist them in finding proactive, positive ways to cope with sorrow. Couples who feel unable to communicate their struggles can benefit from speaking to a psychologist or other mental health professional.
Additionally, a child’s treatment plan is also important. Depending on the child’s specific needs, parents may need different treatments for birth injuries. For some children, medical treatment may not be necessary throughout their lifetime, but for others, it may be necessary to receive long-term treatment.
The most common method of treating birth injuries is therapy. Children with muscle tone, mobility, and coordination issues can benefit from physical and aquatic therapy. It is designed to loosen and build muscles.
Other treatment options include:
Various medications are available for treating pain and other conditions such as swelling, spasticity, urinary incontinence, and seizures.
- Assistive devices
A child who has difficulty moving may need assistive devices. Many children use crutches, wheelchairs, or leg braces to navigate their daily lives. Breathing support or catheters can also be useful for children with severe disabilities.
In some cases, where therapy, medications, or adaptive devices fail to trigger a response, then the child may require surgery. Additionally, surgery is required to treat blood clots, brain bleeds, and seizures.
The treatment of certain birth injuries is different from that of other types of injuries. As an example, light therapy treats jaundice and kernicterus, whereas the burr hole surgery treats infant hematomas.
Even though parents anxiously await the day they will meet their child; medical malpractice can turn their most cherished day into a nightmare.
Since most of these injuries are avoidable, parents can take preventive measures by knowing about the causes and injuries. However, if an injury occurs, a birth injury lawyer will ensure the compensation the parents and the child deserve. Additionally, knowing which treatment option is right for a child can reduce their disease symptoms and save everyone from the pain.