Accountability and Responsibility for Preventable Birth Injuries
Hospitals, nursing staff, and doctors are medical professionals who are required to follow standards of care. Standards of care exist to ensure that patients receive proper medical care and to protect patients from injuries that are preventable.
Hospital systems and professional medical providers have the duty and responsibility to comply with the standard of care. And, they are legally accountable when they don’t follow the standard of care and cause a birth injury.
What Are the Common Causes of Birth Injuries?
Here are some of the common causes of birth injuries:
Delayed C-Section Delivery
During a difficult labor and delivery, a cesarean section (or c-section) may reduce the risks of serious injury. Delivering the baby by c-section removes the baby from the environment that is not providing the baby with sufficient oxygen. If it happens too late, the baby may be injured.
Oxygen Deprivation or Hypoxia
Before, during, and after delivery, babies must have a steady and reliable flow of oxygen, or severe injuries can occur. A baby may not receive enough oxygen when there is a uterine rupture, a placental tear, an infection, or an umbilical cord that is kinked or wrapped around the baby’s neck. When the baby doesn’t receive enough oxygen, serious injuries like hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (or HIE), or cerebral palsy (CP) can occur.
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
Meconium aspiration syndrome occurs when the baby breaths (aspiration) in a mix of first feces (meconium) and amniotic fluid before or during birth. When a baby is experiencing stress during labor and delivery, the baby may involuntarily gasp. As the baby gasps, its lungs fill with meconium and amniotic fluid.
Sometimes the lung is only partly blocked, and sometimes it is completely blocked. As a result, the baby’s lungs may collapse. Another risk is lung infection, which comes as a result of inflammation of the lungs (pneumonitis).
Trauma and Excessive Force
Commonly, trauma injuries occur when a medical provider uses too much mechanical force during delivery. Medical providers may have difficulty delivering a baby when baby is either too large or is positioned abnormally. Medical providers may use forceps or vacuum extractors to reposition the baby or to force the baby through the birth canal. The risks of injuries associated with these instruments can often be prevented by ordering and performing a c-section delivery.
A serious birth injury starts the clock running. The sooner you act, the more options are available for treatment of your child’s birth injury. Early intervention is proven to improve the quality of life of many children who have suffered a birth injury.
What are common birth injuries?
Common Types of Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Negligence
Actions have consequences. When medical providers deviate from the standard of care, they put their patients at risk of injury. Many types of birth injuries are caused by medical providers who aren’t watching for the warning signs of a birth injury. By following the standard of care and acting in a timely manner, many birth injuries can be prevented.
Medical malpractice cases start with an investigation into what happened to cause the birth injury and why. Here are some of the most common types of birth injuries:
- Brain Injuries (e.g. HIE, and Cerebral Palsy)
- Brachial Plexus Injuries (e.g. Erb’s Palsy, where the child’s arm is weak or paralyzed)
- Nerve damage (e.g. Klumpke’s Palsy, where the hand takes on a claw-like shape)
- Infections (e.g. anemia, folic acid deficiency, or spina bifida)
- Bleeding from the forceps, the scalp, or the skull
- Meconium Aspiration
- Cranial Nerve Trauma
- Spinal Cord Damage
- Facial Paralysis
Financial Security for Your Child
Contact an Birth Injury Attorney
If your child suffered a serious birth injury, it’s time to act. A birth injury attorney can help you find answers to the questions you may have. We can advise you about your child’s legal rights, and whether you have a legal claim for compensation. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, hospital visits, and future care like therapy and medical care taking.
The sooner you act, the better the result can be for your child. We will fight for you and for your family to ensure that you are fairly compensated for preventable losses. Please contact us at 1(888)741-6200 for a free case evaluation.