Signs That Your Baby Suffered Birth Injuries
Birth trauma rates have steadily declined in recent years, a fortunate result from enhancements in OB-GYN medicine and increased use of C-sections in cases of difficult labor. However, birth injuries are still a threat when California health care providers do not meet the appropriate standard of medical care. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines birth injury as an impairment of the infant’s bodily function or structure due to an adverse event at birth. Some babies may fully recover from the trauma with proper care, but the effects can be life-changing and permanent in other cases.
It is devastating to learn that your baby suffered injuries at birth, and you could face significant physical, emotional, and financial losses. You may gain some comfort knowing the California laws protect your interests as a parent, since misconduct during prenatal care, labor, and delivery could constitute medical malpractice. An Oakland birth injury lawyer can advise you on your rights and assist with the legal process, but it is also important to recognize signs of trouble.
Concerns Immediately After Birth
Some indications of birth injuries could be observable shortly after delivery, and it is crucial to be vigilant after a particularly difficult labor. Carefully watch for:
- Bruising or swelling around the baby’s head, face, and shoulders;
- Seizures during delivery or within 48 hours after birth;
- Loose or limp arms and legs;
- Lack of reflexes;
- An arched back and stiffness when the baby cries; and,
- The infant fails to begin breathing immediately after delivery.
Signs of Birth Injuries as Your Baby Develops
Infants communicate through crying, facial expressions, and gestures, so some indications of trauma may not be evident until your baby grows. In some situations, the condition may not manifest until you notice delays in development and missed milestones. Signs that should be cause for concern include:
- Your child falls behind on speech or has not developed any speech skills;
- Difficulties with eating and drinking;
- Inability to grasp eating utensils, cups, or objects, indicating issues with motor skills;
- Intellectual and cognitive disorders; and,
- Unable to sit, stand, crawl, or walk.
Costs and Complications from Birth Injuries
A primary concern for parents in the immediate aftermath of trauma is medical care. Proper treatment may cure medical conditions related to birth injuries or alleviate the symptoms, though these services can be expensive. Additional costs and losses to consider when your child suffers from birth trauma may include.
- Hiring at-home care or skilled nursing services;
- Investing in assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, and crutches;
- Necessary modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate your child’s needs;
- Costs related to placement in an assisted living facility; and,
- Lost wages, if a parent is forced out of the workforce to provide caregiving services.
Contact an Oakland Birth Injury Attorney to Discuss Options
At Venardi Zurada, LLP, our medical malpractice team is prepared to take legal action and get the compensation your family deserves. Please contact us right away to schedule a no-cost case review with a California birth injuries lawyer. We are happy to meet with you at our offices in Oakland or Walnut Creek, CA.