How Can I Tell If My Newborn Sustained a Birth Injury and Not a Defect?

Birth Injury Lawyer Salt Lake City, UT

Parents who observe that something isn’t quite right with their newborn, may wonder whether they sustained a birth injury or have a defect. A birth defect is vastly different from a birth injury, in that it can stem from the family medical history and genetics. A birth injury is when the infant suffered an injury before, during, or after the birth. In some cases, the birth injury may have been due to a doctor or medical personnel negligence. The doctor or support staff may have committed an error during a crucial step in the delivery process.

Q: Are birth injuries something that can be prevented?

A: It is estimated that around one-third of all birth injuries are caused by communication errors among doctors and medical staff about the patient’s health. A significant number of birth injuries are due to the doctor failing to diagnose and respond urgently to fetal or maternal distress. In situations where the doctor, nurses, or hospital was negligent, birth injuries could have been prevented.

Q: What are the primary reasons for birth injuries?

A: Parents can help prevent birth injuries from happening by asking questions, inquiring into why certain treatments are being administered, request nurses who are trained specifically to assist with deliveries, and ensuring their symptoms are being attended to promptly. A mother who experiences peculiar aches, pains, discomforts, or gut instincts regarding the fetus, must speak up and ask for another nurse or doctor if they are not being taken seriously. The primary reasons birth injuries occur include the following:

  • Incorrect administration of medication type or amount
  • Umbilical cord problems
  • Incorrect usage of tools to assist with delivery
  • Delaying cesarean section
  • Failing to monitor and seek immediate care for fetal distress
  • Misdiagnosis of mother’s or fetus’ condition

Q: What if my doctor didn’t inform me about any fetal issues before delivery?

A: By law, doctors must report any abnormalities or disabilities they observe to the parents prior to delivery. So, if parents were anticipating a happy and healthy baby yet he or she was diagnosed with a disability afterwards, this may be cause for concern. Failing to adequately diagnose potential health issues is what can contribute to birth injuries that would have otherwise been prevented.

Q: Are there visible signs I can look out for after delivery?

A: The baby’s color and alertness after delivery can be a major indication of whether a birth injury happened. However, it is possible that a birth injury is not observed until later in life, when the baby is behind on achieving growth milestones.

Q: Should I meet with a lawyer if I think my doctor did something wrong?

A: Parents who are concerned that their infant may have been the victim of medical carelessness from the doctor or other medical staff, may want to meet with a birth injury lawyer Salt Lake City, UT offers about their options. In general, it may be in the best interest of the parents to consult with a legal professional first before filing a complaint to the hospital. Sadly, some medical facilities may be quick to protect themselves from a lawsuit, and destroy evidence that an error or negligence had occurred.

Contact Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into personal injury claims and how to know if your newborn suffered a birth injury.