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Signs Your Child May Have Suffered a Birth Injury

The birth of a child should be an exhilarating and joyful experience, but the reality is that birth injuries do occur. In some cases, the signs and symptoms of a birth injury appear right away, but that is not always the case. Here, we want to discuss some of the signs that your child may have experienced a birth injury. Our Seattle child injury lawyers also want to discuss whether or not you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of your child against a negligent medical provider.

Did Your Child Suffer a Birth Injury?

Signs Right After Birth

There are various signs and symptoms that may be immediately apparent in the hours or days right after a baby is born. In some cases, these signs and symptoms could indicate a birth injury, but they may also indicate other medical conditions present. Only a medical professional can properly diagnose what occurred and what is causing the symptoms.

Some of the most common symptoms and signs that a birth injury may have occurred include the following:

  • Any resuscitation effort on the child
  • With the baby turning blue or pale
  • Rapid breathing
  • Slow breathing
  • Lowered heart rate
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Arched back while crying
  • Extreme irritability
  • Favoring one side of the body over the other
  • Weak reflexes
  • Hand curling
  • Muscle stiffness or weakness
  • Any broken bones

It is critical to point out that the delivery process can be traumatic, as is the entire process of childbirth. Any medical conditions that a child may have are often not known until after they are born, so the signs and symptoms of injuries or illness may not indicate malpractice on the part of the medical professionals.

Signs That Show Later After Delivery

There are times when the signs and symptoms of birth injury will take months or years to show up to the level that they are noticeable. Some of the following birth injury signs or symptoms typically develop between 12 to 24 months after birth:

  • Trouble crawling or walking
  • A loss of full control of bodily movements
  • Lack of coordination
  • Lack of speech or delayed speech 
  • Inability to stand or sit on their own
  • Issues with eating or drinking
  • Trouble hearing
  • Trouble holding on to objects
  • Involuntary pulling of the neck

In some cases, the signs of a birth injury may not even appear until after a few years. This can include symptoms such as:

  • Continued lack of speech
  • Speech or language impairments
  • Hearing or vision problems
  • Trouble with fine motor skills
  • Developmental disabilities including epilepsy or autism
  • Difficulties with learning or comprehension
  • Problems running or climbing stairs

Do You Need to Contact an Attorney?

If your child has suffered from a birth injury, you may need to speak to a skilled medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Birth injury and medical malpractice claims are incredibly difficult to move forward with, and they require extensive investigation. When you work with a skilled birth injury lawyer, you will have an advocate by your side with the resources necessary to handle every aspect of your claim. 

If your child did indeed suffer a birth injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of a medical professional, you may be able to recover various types of compensation for your losses. This includes all emergency and ongoing medical expenses related to the birth injury, the cost of any in-home care needed, physical therapy and rehabilitation costs, payment for medical devices, and pain and suffering damages.