When anyone is admitted to a hospital, there is always the risk (no matter how minor) that a mistake may be made. Mistakes by medical personnel can be especially tragic if a newborn child or a mother is harmed.
What is a birth injury?
A birth injury is a type of injury suffered by a newborn before, during or after birth. Injuries are often not serious, don’t require treatment and can heal on their own after several days or weeks. However, other types of birth injuries can be more severe, permanent and disabling.
Why do birth injuries occur?
Sometimes, babies suffer birth injuries as a result of medical malpractice on the part of a doctor or other medical professional. Negligence can lead to a birth injury that could have otherwise been avoided, which means that the parents could hold the doctor or other health care professional liable for their child’s injuries.
One of the most common causes of birth injuries is delayed birth. If a mother is in labor for longer than 18 hours, it can result in the infant not receiving enough oxygen. Many types of birth injuries can occur when the baby has not received sufficient oxygen. In addition:
- Medications and infections in the mother can result in serious birth injuries.
- Assistive means during childbirth can lead to birth injuries. If the doctor uses forceps or vacuum extraction, it can cause injuries to the baby’s scalp.
- Babies can suffer from nerve damage to the shoulder or neck if they are pulled too violently during vaginal birth.
Birth injuries can also develop when the doctor fails to order a cesarean section in time or if the mother suffers from preeclampsia that’s left untreated. Not diagnosing a health problem in the mother can lead to serious complications for her and the infant.
In the worst-case scenario, birth injuries can be deadly. If your child has suffered, the law may help you hold the doctor or health care professional responsible.