According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 3,747,540 babies born in the United States in 2019. The arrival of a new baby is a happy occasion for most families, but many infants and parents are affected by birth injuries.
A birth injury is an injury sustained during labor or birth. Birth injuries affect 538 babies born each week in the United States. Although the size of the baby or the mothers’ health can cause birth injuries, medical professionals’ negligence can also cause birth injuries. Expecting parents may spend months preparing a nursery, but few prepare for the possibility of a birth injury. In the event of a birth injury, parents must take the time to understand the nature of the injury and the long-term effects on their child and family.
How will birth injuries affect your child and family?
Birth injuries can cause cognitive, emotional, and physical delays or impairments. Some birth injuries cause permanent disability.
Initially, your infant may need to remain in the hospital for treatment. Hospitalization can inhibit your ability to bond with your child. Birth injuries also increase your child’s risk of developing a brain tumor or respiratory illness.
The costs of medical treatment, assistive devices, therapy, and care can have a significant impact on your family’s financial health. Treatments for many types of birth injuries include surgery, which could affect your ability to work or require you to hire caregivers to look after your child after the surgery. You may also need to modify your home or relocate to accommodate wheelchairs or other assistive devices.
What are your legal options for addressing a birth injury?
Google “Chicago birth injury attorneys” to find a birth injury attorney near you. Lawyers offer free consultations, enabling you to assess the merits of your potential birth injury case before hiring an attorney. You might have grounds to file a lawsuit against medical professionals and facilities if negligence caused your baby’s birth injury. You must hire an experienced birth injury attorney who specializes in birth injury cases. These lawyers are familiar with applicable case law that you can use to support your case.
It’s also crucial to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. Every state has a statute of limitations that affects your ability to pursue a lawsuit. If you wait until the statute has expired, you may not be able to seek legal recourse for medical expenses or pain.
What are the most common types of birth injuries?
Common birth injuries include spinal cord injuries (SCIs), brain damage, epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, and brachial plexus injury. Each type of congenital disability could affect your infant’s physical or mental development.
SCIs can affect a child’s ability to walk. Infants who sustain SCIs may be paralyzed and need to use a wheelchair or need assistive devices, such as braces, to walk. An SCI can also cause scoliosis during the birthing process.
While SCIs affect a child physically, a brain injury can affect your infant’s physical and mental development. Cognitive delays are common. Brain damage can also cause epilepsy. Infants who develop epilepsy from brain damage may be affected by several different types of seizures.
Seizure symptoms and severity vary depending on the type of seizure. Each side of the brain is affected by general onset seizures. Tonic-clonic seizures, absence seizures, and atonic seizures are all general onset seizures.
People can be awake when experiencing focal onset seizures, which are also known as partial seizures. Some people may not move during a seizure or experience temperature fluctuations and an elevated heart rate. Some types of seizures can also cause muscle weakness and spasms.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) affects a person’s mobility, strength, and balance. People with CP may need to use a wheelchair.
Brachial plexus injury affects the nerves that connect a person’s hand, arm, and shoulder to their spinal cord. Brachial plexus injuries can cause people to lose feeling in their hands or arms. They may also have difficulty moving affected limbs or extremities.
Many types of birth injuries result in permanent disabilities. Infants can be affected by a physical abnormality that affects their ability to walk. Some birth injuries cause cognitive and emotional delays. The nature of your baby’s birth injury and its severity will determine the long-term effects the injury will have upon your child and family.