The idea of your child having suffered some kind of birth injury can be excruciating. Nobody ever wants their child to suffer from any kind of condition, but it, unfortunately, is something that happens far more often than we would like.
One of the most important steps in helping the child medically, emotionally, and developmentally is recognizing what birth injury exists, what caused it, and just how severe it is. This is where it becomes crucial for the doctor to perform proper testing to diagnose the birth injury is.
For something like cerebral palsy, there are numerous tests that can help diagnose the condition, but it’s up to you as the parent to identify the potential signs of a birth injury and then request various tests to justify your concerns. Here are things you should look for, as well as tests doctors should perform, to diagnose cerebral palsy or other birth injuries.
What Parents Must Look For
Parents have the right to request additional testing if they believe that their child has suffered a birth injury such as cerebral palsy. However, there must be a valid reason behind the request and it’s important to understand that you should recognize potential problems ahead of time.
Here are some things you should keep in mind:
- Your instincts are usually correct: As a parent, you can identify a bit more whether something is wrong with your child. You know whether your labor had complications, if there were any issues involved, and whether your child is experience significant delays. If that’s the case, trust your instincts and request that your child get further testing. Ignoring your instinct can prevent you from getting answers.
- You know what behaviors are considered unusual: Seeing your child on a day-to-day basis gives you an idea of what is normal and what behavior is considered unusual. If you identify any unusual behavior and believe it is associated with a potential birth injury, you should jot down what the behavior was and when it happened. The more it occurs, the more you can identify and explain what is happening to a doctor.
- You can reach out to your baby’s doctor: You’re not a medical professional. You can’t diagnose your child with something accurately; however, you can identify small changes in behavior and developmental delays that you can relay to your baby’s doctor. If you notice anything wrong, be sure to tell your baby’s doctor what you see, and they can give you a better idea of whether something is wrong or if it is normal.
If you approach the doctor about additional testing to look for a birth injury and they decline your request, know that you have rights. Make sure you go through every avenue to get the proper testing necessary to diagnose a potential problem.
How Are Cerebral Palsy and Other Birth Injuries Tested?
When it comes to various birth injuries—especially those involving trauma to your baby’s head and brain—specific testing can help to identify and diagnose the problems. Some can be as simple as blood test, while others require more advanced methods.
Here are some of the tests that may be performed:
- General assessment of health: Your doctor may look at some of the common signs and symptoms of various birth injuries and compare them to those exhibited by your child. Using a general assessment of muscles, reactions, and more, the doctor can determine if more testing is needed or if diagnosis can be done through visual aspects.
- PET scan testing: Technically called a positron emission tomography, a PET scan can be used to provide the doctor with colorful images of the functionality of your baby’s brain. If the brain is not properly sending messages to the rest of the body, the PET scan can show these potential problems.
- MRI testing: Magnetic resonance imaging provides doctors with a scan that is easy to read and determine if certain problems exist, including hemorrhaging in the brain or other abnormalities. MRIs can indicate what problems may exist and how they are impacting the motor and cognitive functions of your baby.
- EEG testing: Electroencephalogram testing helps to identify if there are any problems regarding brain waves, as well as abnormalities in the brain’s electrical activity. It’s a way to determine if the brain activity is working correctly and the way alpha, beta, theta, and delta waves are being transmitted can help to identify a potential problem.
Is Failure to Provide Proper Testing an Act of Negligence?
What would you do if you truly believe your child is experiencing the effects of a birth injury, only to have the doctor deny your request for additional testing to determine if there is in fact a problem? Unfortunately, this can sometimes happen and when it does, you have rights.
Doctors are not always willing to provide proper testing because it could indicate a mistake that they made to cause your baby harm. However, if they deny your request, it could also be considered a form of medical malpractice called missed diagnosis.
Failure to diagnose can result in the baby suffering long-term damages as they may not get the care they did quickly. When this happens, it gives you even more rights to take legal action against the doctor for potentially causing the injury in the first place, and then failing to diagnose properly.
The Complexities of Birth Injury Lawsuits
Any time you need to file a lawsuit for a birth injury sustained by your child, it’s important to have someone on your side who can help to represent your rights and explain the entire process to you every step of the way.
Birth injuries—like all matters of medical malpractice—require nuances that not all lawyers have. A lawyer must recognize the various factors included in proving liability; one who can exhibit the various pieces of evidence to show that a birth injury occurred.
If you’ve been denied testing, you can speak with an attorney to determine if the failure to diagnose is a viable lawsuit. However, if your request for testing is approved, these results may be beneficial in showing that your baby suffered harm as a result of trauma.
When it comes to medical malpractice causing significant harm to infants, toddlers, and babies, our Chicago birth injury attorneys take these matters seriously and work hard to help you and your family understand what comes next, as well as pursuing the compensation you need and deserve.
At Beam Legal Team, you are a top priority and your needs are always kept top of mind. Be sure to demand that your rights be accounted for and that testing is performed. It is your right as a parent to know if your child has been experienced negligence and if they’ve been harmed.
Let us help you move forward during this difficult time. You deserve peace of mind, and we’re here to help you when you need it most.
Call our firm today at (866) 766-3806 if you believe your child has suffered a birth injury due to negligence, or if your baby’s doctor has failed to offer testing to diagnose a potential problem.