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Recognizing signs of birth injuries: What parents need to know

This Article was created in partnership with Fox45 News

Identifying birth injuries early is crucial for ensuring prompt medical intervention and seeking legal recourse if necessary. There are a lot of moving parts after a baby is born, but parents need to be vigilant as they spend time with their children because these first days, weeks, and months are critical for noticing potential signs of birth injuries. If any alarming symptoms present themselves, parents must take appropriate action as soon as possible to protect their child’s well-being and legal rights.

Here is a roundup of the most common signs that a birth injury has occurred.

  • Abnormalities in movement or functioning: Noticeable abnormalities in the child’s movement or functioning, such as difficulty in using limbs symmetrically, favoring one side of the body, or delays in reaching developmental milestones.
  • Persistent crying or irritability: Excessive crying, irritability, or signs of distress that do not improve with comforting measures.
  • Difficulty with feeding or sucking: Difficulty with breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, including poor latch, weak sucking reflex, or inability to coordinate swallowing and breathing.
  • Abnormalities in muscle tone: Unusual muscle tone, such as stiffness or floppiness, particularly in the arms, legs, or neck.
  • Seizures or tremors: Seizures, tremors, or involuntary movements that occur spontaneously or during specific activities.
  • Respiratory issues: Persistent respiratory problems, such as difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, or cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin).
  • Obvious physical injuries or blemishes: Any fractures in the baby’s bones or bruises on the scalp, face, or body.

While these symptoms may be associated with other conditions that are not as serious, it is still best to consult trusted medical and legal professionals to make sure your child and your entire family are safe and secure going forward. Here are some helpful steps to take if you are concerned about your child’s health and development.

  1. Seek medical evaluation: Parents should seek prompt medical evaluation from a qualified healthcare provider, such as a pediatrician or pediatric neurologist, who can assess the child’s condition and determine if further diagnostic tests or interventions are necessary. If parents are suspicious of any medical malpractice, it is often best to get a second opinion from a different provider than where the birth occurred.
  2. Document symptoms and medical care: Keep detailed records of the child’s symptoms, medical appointments, treatments, and outcomes. Documentation will be crucial for evaluating the extent of the birth injury and establishing a legal case if medical negligence is suspected.
  3. Consult with a birth injury lawyer: If there is evidence of medical negligence or wrongdoing contributing to the birth injury, parents should immediately consult with a skilled birth injury lawyer, such as those employed at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman in Baltimore. A lawyer with experience in medical malpractice cases can provide guidance on legal options, help protect the family’s legal rights, and work with medical experts who can provide reliable testimony to strengthen the case.

“The sad reality of today is that healthcare providers have gotten very good at downplaying your own thoughts,” Managing Partner Keith D. Forman said. “If you have questions or think something may be wrong, trust and follow your gut.”

If medical malpractice is determined to have occurred, parents of children with birth injuries may be able to recover compensation for their damages, including:

  1. Medical expenses: Compensation for past and future medical expenses related to the birth injury, including diagnostic tests, treatments, and therapy.
  2. Pain and suffering: Damages for the physical pain, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life experienced by the child and family as a result of the birth injury.
  3. Lost earnings: Compensation for lost income or earning capacity if the child’s birth injury results in long-term disability or impairment that affects the parent’s ability to work.
  4. Special education and rehabilitation: Coverage for special education services and even devices needed to support the child’s development and functioning.

Recognizing signs of birth injuries early and taking prompt action is essential for ensuring the well-being of the child and protecting the family’s legal rights. By seeking medical evaluation, documenting symptoms, and consulting with the birth injury lawyers at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch, and Norman, parents can take proactive steps toward obtaining compensation for their child’s injuries and securing the support they need to navigate the challenges ahead.

“I can always guarantee one thing – we will give you more answers about what happened during delivery than your doctor. They may not be the answers you were hoping for, but we will give you answers,” Forman said.

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