How to Tell if a Birth Injury Was Preventable | Scott Goodwin Law

How to Tell if a Birth Injury Was Preventable

by / Wednesday, 17 January 2024 / Published in Birth Trauma, Medical Malpractice
A mother's hand holds a sleeping baby's hand.

Even with how far we’ve come in making pregnancy and delivery safer for both the mother and the baby, it’s still possible for things to go wrong. Sometimes, there are complications that come up that doctors could not have prevented. But the sad reality is that every year, many babies experience birth injuries that could have been avoided. 

Figuring out whether or not a birth injury could have been avoided or not is a complicated matter and a birth trauma lawyer can help with investigating your specific situation. But the sooner you’re able to find out your child has an injury, the sooner you’ll be able to get help for them. Some things that happen during delivery are immediate red flags that a birth injury could exist, such as an emergency C-section or if the baby needs to stay for medical treatment after the mother goes home. But there are some other signs to watch for that could be symptoms of an injury.

Traumatic Physical Injuries

When babies are born, it’s very common for them to have some degree of bruising because of all the pressure involved with the birthing process. However, if your birth required the use of tools like vacuum extractors and forceps, or if your baby experienced shoulder dystocia during delivery, bruising and swelling can be a result of excessive force being used to deliver the baby. In some cases, bone and skull fractures can also occur. 

Reduced Arm Movement

A baby’s arms and shoulders can easily be injured during birth, especially if shoulder dystocia occurs. Shoulder dystocia is a complication that occurs when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck on the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. If you notice that your baby seems to have limited movement in their arms, they could have sustained damage to their nerves or tendons as the doctor tries to get them out. Erb’s palsy, for example, is a type of brachial plexus injury which impacts nerves near the neck and, in turn, can affect movement and sensation in arms, hands, and fingers. 

Missed Developmental Milestones

When a baby is injured around the time of birth, it’s not always immediately obvious just by looking at the child. Very often, parents of children who sustained birth injuries don’t begin to realize their child was injured until months, or even years, later when the child misses developmental milestones. While it’s very common for children to hit their milestones a bit later or earlier than anticipated, missed milestones can potentially be a sign of birth trauma. If you have concerns about the timing of your child’s developmental milestones, be sure to consult a doctor to see if there’s anything they can do to help or if they believe a larger injury occurred. 

Difficulties With Feeding

It’s not unusual for babies to occasionally be fussy when it comes to eating. But if a baby seems to have exceptional difficulties when it comes to eating, it’s important to see a doctor to see what might be causing it. In some cases, a baby can have problems with sucking because of facial palsy. Cerebral palsy and HIE are two conditions that can potentially cause difficulties with feeding.

Contact a Michigan Birth Trauma Lawyer

When birth trauma occurs, it’s extremely important to contact a lawyer for help. Birth trauma is, very often, a form of medical malpractice and it’s important to have someone on your side who knows the law and can help you find out what exactly happened leading up to the injury. At Scott Goodwin Law, we’re experienced in handling both birth trauma and medical malpractice cases in the State of Michigan. Contact us today to schedule a free case consultation and find out how we can help you. Even if your child is a few years old, you may still have legal options.