Welcoming a newborn into the world should be a celebration of life and the creation of a family. However, issues may arise during pregnancy or even in the delivery process that can lead to issues later down the line. Birth injuries suffered by a baby can have lengthy impacts, creating chronic conditions from Erb’s Palsy to congenital scoliosis, or even the presence of physical scars from birth. Here’s what to expect when you’re expecting, and the possibility of a birth injury exists.
Understanding Birth Injuries
Birth injuries refer to physical harm that a newborn may suffer during pregnancy or in the delivery process. Also known as birth trauma, some birth injuries are brought on by negligent prenatal care by medical staff. Birth injuries can be brought on by larger infants during vaginal birth, issues during Cesarean sections, or the use of forceps to remove the newborn from the birth canal.
Some birth injuries can lead to permanent problems like spine damage, brain damage, or spinal cord injuries. Certain birth injuries can even become more present in child development, even as late as puberty. For example, cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder where damage to the brain causes an inability to control body movement, leading to muscle spasms. Cerebral palsy has been linked to a lack of oxygen to the fetus brought on by issues with the umbilical cord during gestation. This can also be caused by delays in C-sections and birth injuries linked to head trauma.
Birth Injury Lawsuit
Birth injuries can run up medical bills that your insurance company may not want to cover completely. This leads some people to consider legal action to cover these medical expenses. However, it’s important to recognize that there is a statute of limitations on birth injury cases, depending on where you live. Schwaner Injury Law, a Chicago birth injury lawyer, recognizes the situations that lead to birth trauma, ranging from issues in the birth canal to medical conditions that went untreated by an obstetrician, but could have been prevented by recognizing issues with the expectant mother’s health.
For example, scoliosis may be discovered, creating a curvature in the backbone that is likely more present for adolescents. However, issues in the delivery room or unrecognized spinal deformity in the development of the fetus can raise red flags of what could cause scoliosis. There is a range of cases of scoliosis later in life that can arise from common birth injuries, such as idiopathic scoliosis that often occurs during a growth spurt. The curvature of the spine can also be found in neuromuscular scoliosis, which can result in poor balance for children linked to deeper issues with the lower spine throughout childhood development.
Compensation is Possible
It’s important to remember when entering the legal process that medical malpractice and a small mistake are not the same things. If there is a clear and present failure by your childbirth care team, it may be time to consider a birth injury lawsuit to cover medical bills. Birth trauma lawyers will offer legal advice and work to get you and your family the financial compensation you deserve.
This can even include covering punitive damage, as well as medical expenses tied to mental health. If you are searching online for “therapist near me” then consider a therapy session that could dive into the known cause of your stress brought on by your child’s birth injury. This could cause a panic disorder or even PTSD brought on by your trauma in the delivery room. Be sure to find an experienced birth injury lawyer who will show empathy for you and your child’s struggles. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health experts are still accessible through video visits with an understanding that just because you aren’t in the same room, you may need a safe space.