When a newborn is injured during the delivery process, the signs and symptoms may not always be immediately apparent. Even if they are, parents do not always know what to look for. Read on for more information on the top signs your baby was injured during birth and when to contact a birth injury attorney.
Injuries Suffered on Delivery
When a child is born, there are certain signs that parents and healthcare providers should look for that may point to the presence of a birth-related injury. These signs include:
- Bruising, abrasions, or swelling on the infant’s head, face, or shoulders
- Infant experiences a seizure within 48 hours of birth
- There is a need for infant CPR or a breathing tube during the delivery process
- Baby fails to begin breathing immediately after delivery
- Lack of muscle tone, indicated by loose or limp arms
Sometimes, a healthcare professional or facility makes a mistake. In order for this to amount to a case for medical malpractice, the medical treatment has to fall below an accepted medical standard and the substandard treatment must result in harm to the patient. If the doctors involved in the delivery process fail to recognize and address the above signs of birth injury immediately after they are discovered, or are found to have caused the injuries through neglect, parents should plan to contact an experienced local birth injury attorney right away.
Later Signs of a Birth Injury
While some signs of a birth injury are apparent right after the child is born, other signs do not arise until later in the child’s development. Cerebral palsy is one example of a condition that can follow this trajectory. Here are some signs of birth injury to look out for as your child gets older:
- 1 Month Old: Slow to suckle and feed, lack of blinking when a bright light is shined in their eyes, minimal movement of limbs or limbs that seem overly loose or stiff.
- 3 Months Old: Does not respond to loud noises, cannot grasp or hold onto things, struggles to support their own head, fails to push down with their legs when feet are placed on a firm surface.
- 7 Months Old: Muscles seem stiff or overly tight, cannot sit up without help, body seems floppy like a rag doll, cannot roll over.
- 1 Year Old: Cannot crawl, cannot stand even with support, cannot say single words such as “papa” or “mama.”
Parents should use these signs as a guideline, but any doubt or concern regarding their child’s development should be brought to the attention of a qualified medical expert immediately for assessment.
Professional Legal Counsel in New Jersey
Attempting to pursue litigation against physicians and major healthcare systems can be a daunting process, especially for parents who are still reeling from the realization that their baby has been injured by the very people responsible for protecting them during the labor and delivery process.
For years, the attorneys at Ferrara & Gable have been helping victims of medical malpractice and their families in New Jersey fight for compensation for their injuries. Contact Ferrara & Gable today to discuss your case.