Identifying a Birth Injury
Identifying a birth injury is no easy task. In many situations, your child’s injury may not be evident until months or even years after delivery. However, there are some initial signs during childbirth that doctors and parents alike should be on the lookout for, including:
- Bruising, swelling, or abrasions on your child’s head, face, or shoulders
- Seizures that occur within 48 hours of birth
- The infant’s need for CPR or a breathing tube during delivery
- Failure to begin breathing immediately after delivery
- Loose or limp arms, indicating a lack of muscle tone
If any of these birth injury symptoms are present during or after your child’s delivery process, your doctor should work quickly to minimize any further damage that could occur. If your doctor fails to recognize and address these immediate signs of birth injury, or is found to have caused them through neglect, they can be held responsible for medical malpractice. An experienced birth injury lawyer can help you recover damages.
Birth Injury Signs Later in a Child’s Development
Sometimes, birth injury conditions like cerebral palsy will not show signs until later in a child’s development process. Parents should keep a watchful eye out for late birth injury symptoms at each stage of their child’s development. Some signs to watch for include:
- 1 Month Old – Suckles and feeds slowly; doesn’t blink when a bright light shines in their eyes; barely moves limbs and seems stiff or loose in the limbs.
- 3 Months Old – Doesn’t respond to loud noises; cannot grasp or hold objects; cannot support their head; doesn’t push down with their legs when their feet are on a firm surface.
- 7 Months Old – Seems stiff with overly tight muscles; cannot sit up without help; seems “floppy,” like a rag doll; cannot roll over.
- 1 Year Old – Doesn’t crawl; cannot stand, even when supported; cannot say single words like “dada” or “mama.”
Keep in mind that this breakdown of symptoms is only mean to be a basic guideline. If you suspect your child may be showing late signs of a birth injury, you should consult with a physician who can properly diagnose their condition.
If you believe your child has a birth injury that was caused by negligent medical care, our experienced birth injury lawyers can help. Please contact Wapner Newman today to schedule a free case evaluation with a medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia.
Our medical malpractice attorneys represent birth injury victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with offices in Philadelphia, West Conshohocken, Marlton, and Allentown.