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What is a Birth Injury? 5 Things New Parents Should Know

If you go through a complicated or traumatic birth you may be worried that your new child could suffer an injury. This is something that can trouble you and your child for the rest of your lives. You have rights as a patient and as a parent. Here are some things you should know about dealing with birth injuries. 

Injuries vs Defects

Birth defects are usually the result of genetic issues or outside factors such as smoking or viruses. These are conditions such as cleft palate, Down’s syndrome, or physical defects that happen in the womb. Injuries at birth, however, are usually the result of negligence or errors on the part of medical staff. Permanent harm can occur through harmful medications, oxygen deprivation, or most commonly shoulder dystocia.

Monitor Your Child

Normal baby milestones such as crawling, standing, or walking should take place within acceptable time frames. If your child is not meeting these developmental targets, or shows other signs of problems with motor skills, health, or cognitive ability, discuss it with your healthcare provider. They’ll be able to do a more thorough examination to determine if there’s a real problem.

Scientific Research

Infant development is often checked on the basis of an APGAR score. This evaluates different aspects of overall health in your child, including appearance, vision, respiration, and other vitals. In the event your child doesn’t score well, ask your doctor about the causes and available treatments. Specialists armed with the latest scientific research may provide a solution.

Injury May Not Be a Catastrophe

Injuries should not be taken lightly even if mild, but should not be a source of ongoing emotional pain even if severe. Your family members should be aware of and accepting that your injured child may experience live with certain restrictions. Even if it means professional counseling, find ways to cope and help the child flourish as much as possible.

Don’t Hesitate to Take Action

If your child is the victim of birth injuries, it’s important to the child and your family that you claim your legal rights. Many states will have a statute of limitations on this type of injury. If the matter isn’t settled before the child turns 18, they become a legal adult. This can impede the chances of getting compensation. When your child is injured through improper medical care, you owe it to them to assert their legal rights.

If your child suffers injuries, and is permanently disabled or too young to assert themselves, you’re their only advocate. You can and should seek legal advice.

Tim Esterdahl

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