Although it is relatively rare for a child to be injured during childbirth, when it does happen it is important to take the right actions as quickly as possible. Ensuring your child gets the right treatment and support promptly can make a massive difference to their long-term prospects, minimising the future impact of the injury they suffered.
In this article, we look at some of the key things you should do if your child was injured during childbirth (or if you suspect that they may have been).
Seek immediate medical treatment
While some birth injuries may be obvious as soon as they happen, others may take some time to become apparent. If you notice that your baby is experiencing any issues, such as slower than normal development, or problems controlling their limbs, this could be a sign that they have suffered a birth injury.
While some new parents may worry that they are simply being ‘paranoid’, you should not delay in seeking treatment when you notice these kinds of issues – especially if your child had a difficult birth. Getting treatment as soon as possible is essential to making sure your child can make the best recovery possible.
Ensure your child gets the right support
Depending on the nature of the birth injury, your child may need a range of different types of support to help them live a full, happy life and be as independent as possible.
Typical treatments that a child with a birth injury may need include:
- Medication – For example, a child with cerebral palsy may need tablets or injections for muscle stiffness and tightness, as well as painkillers and other medication.
- Surgery – For example, a child with Erb’s Palsy due to nerve damage to the arm may need surgery to graft healthy nerves onto the damaged ones.
- Physiotherapy – Including strength, flexibility and stretching exercises to combat the effects of various types of birth injury.
- Speech and language therapy – To help a child overcome any issues with communication they are experiencing as a result of their injuries.
- Occupational therapy – Allows a professional to assess any difficulties your child is having with daily tasks and help them work on overcoming them.
Find out if you can make a claim for medical negligence
If you believe your child was injured during childbirth due to mistakes made by the medical team handling their birth, you may be able to claim birth injury compensation. This can help fund any treatment, support and special equipment you and your child need, helping to improve their quality of life.
To find out whether you are likely to be able to make a successful claim, it is a good idea to contact a specialist birth injury claims solicitor. They will have the expertise and experience to assess the strength of your claim, advise you on how much you may be able to win as a settlement and guide and support you through the entire process of making a birth injury compensation claim.