What Options Are Available To Parents After A Birth Injury?
You’ve just experienced an emotional and life-changing event adding a new baby into your family. Discovering your newborn’s health is not perfect is terrifying. You are probably completely overwhelmed with emotion as you worry about your child’s health and well-being and attempt to make the best decisions possible in this new territory.
Many thoughts questions are probably racing through your head as try to sort out what is happening. There are a few strategies that may help you and some questions that you can approach first during this trying time.
Step 1 - Get The Best Care You Can For Your Baby
You are of course already making sure everything that can be done is done to help your child. Keep in mind though, that you are entitled to explanations and second options if you feel the need. Be assertive. You are a parent and have rights. If you do not understand a procedure or medication ask. Ask questions as often as needed until you feel comfortable with all decisions being made.
Step 2 - Get Documentation
All medical procedures will have documentation taken down as they are performed, including any that occurred during the delivery of your child. Try to get all the documents and records you can.
Step 3 - Take Notes
You are going to have a lot of information to process as well as a lot of questions to ask. It will probably help you write down answers to questions you asked so that you can refer back to them later. It is also very common to have a medical professional explain something to you and then you not realize until later that you have several more questions to ask.
You can also journal about your experience. What do you remember from the delivery. Some of this information may be useful later and it is easy to forget details when you are doing so much and so exhausted.
Step 4 - Consult With Professionals
Birth injuries vary drastically and require different types of care. Some injuries could require lifelong medical care at a large expense, while other injuries may not. There are various types of birth injuries with some common injuries being:
- Shoulder dystocia
- Brachial Palsy
- Cerebral Palsy
- Brain Damage
- Caput Succedaneum
Meeting with a life care planner may help you deal with some of needs your child could have from their injury. If needed, a life care plan would be a document that based on medical analysis and records would lay out a concise plan for current and future medical needs.
You should also contact a lawyer in case your child’s injury was the result of negligence. Many times birth injuries are tragic but unavoidable instances that occur through no fault of the medical staff or parents.
Sadly, there are also instances where medical malpractice or negligence has occurred and resulted in the injury of a child. You will want to make sure you have all of your bases covered. Medical bills accumulate very quickly and planning is always important.
Take It Step By Step
Determining your options when your baby has a birth injury can be an overwhelming task, but being well informed and asking questions will help you immensely. There are many professionals available to help and give you information, so that you can be there for your baby.
Laurence Banville, Esq. is the founder and managing partner at Banville Law, a personal injury firm in New York. The firm is dedicated to expanding access to experienced legal representation. Laurence is the coordinator for an alliance of attorneys and is one of the lead sponsors at BirthInjuryAdvocate.com.