Welcoming a newborn baby into the world should be a joyous, miraculous event for new parents. However, when parents least expect it, some parents discover that their newborns have sustained birth injuries. Some birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice involves the negligent or careless acts of medical physicians or professionals that lead to injuries or deaths.
Common Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can occur at any point during the birthing process--during the pregnancy, delivery, or right after the birth. Often, either the doctor or medical professional fails to detect the early warning signs indicating that there may be complications with the baby at birth, or fails to take the proper procedures at delivery to reduce or prevent injury. When proper medical procedures and treatment are not taken, the mother or infant may be severely injured or may even die.
There are several kinds of birthing injuries that commonly occur, including the following:
- Brachial Palsy or Erb's Palsy occurs when nerves stemming from the spinal cord through the infant's arm become damaged. This may result in reduced mobility of the arm or partial or complete paralysis of the arm.
- Ectopic or tubal pregnancy occurs when the fertilization of the egg takes place outside the fallopian tube, which can lead to severe pelvic pain and heavy bleeding for the mother.
- Gestational diabetes is a condition that arises in some pregnant mothers, where they have higher than normal sugar levels, which in turn might lead to delivering babies that are larger than normal. This may result in fractures to the baby during delivery and/or abnormal sugar levels for the infant.
- Perinatal Asphyxia occurs when the baby lacks oxygen, also known as hypoxia, which can lead to brain damage or death to the newborn. Causes of perinatal asphyxia include the umbilical cord becoming wrapped around the baby's neck or a sudden drop in the mother's blood pressure.
- Preeclampsia occurs when the mother develops high blood pressure during the pregnancy and has high amounts of protein in her urine. This condition is one of the major causes of complications at birth, leading to premature birth, lower than normal birth weight, or death of the baby or mother.
- Shoulder Dystocia arises during delivery of the infant. Due to a variety of factors, such as babies that are large for their gestational age or gestational diabetes, the baby's anterior shoulder becomes caught on the mother's pubic bone, resulting in fractures, Erb's Palsy, or Perinatal Asphyxia.
Many of these birth injuries are preventable if proper medical attention, care, and treatment are provided to the mother and her child during pregnancy and at delivery. Physicians and other medical professionals must exercise reasonable care when caring for their patients. If the level of care falls below this standard, you may be able to recover damages, including medical bills, rehabilitative costs, and other expenses, from the medical practitioner who was responsible.
For experienced legal representation in a medical malpractice case, contact the law firm of Ramey & Hailey today.