When a baby is injured before, during or immediately following birth, parents are devastated. It is a hard thing to learn that serious or permanent damage has been done. They go from dreaming about all the possibilities for their child to confronting the reality of all the limitations and challenges that now lay ahead.
It is important to note that not all birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice. There are times despite a doctor’s or hospital’s best efforts babies get injured. This, of course, doesn’t lessen the hurt and pain experienced by both the parents and the child. Unfortunately, it may limit some of the options available to protect and provide for the child’s future. (If you fall into this category there are resources available to help you plan your child’s future. Go here to download a whitepaper that discusses your options).
It is possible, however, that a birth injury was avoidable; that is, it only happened because a doctor or hospital made an error that broke the standard of care. Understandably most parents are not experienced or educated enough in how birth injuries happen to decide on their own if their child’s injury was inevitable or avoidable.
Considering the physical, financial and emotional toll this can all take on parents and their baby, many people in this situation choose to take legal action against the parties responsible for a birth injury. Understanding common causes of birth injuries that can lead to a legal claim can help parents and caregivers as they plan for an uncertain future.
3 Common Causes of Birth Injuries
- Delayed care – Injuries to an unborn baby can happen if doctors or nurses fail to act promptly. For example, delaying a cesarean section operation can result in serious trauma to the baby and mother. In some cases, delayed care results in a baby being deprived of oxygen. This can lead to conditions like cerebral palsy.
- Inadequate monitoring – At least one person during a delivery should be responsible to monitor the baby and the mother’s health. If a mother or baby’s blood or oxygen levels spike or plummet, there can be a swift and effective response. This can only happen if someone is properly monitoring the patients. If there are inadequate monitoring practices in place, critical information and conditions can be missed.
- Improper use of a medical device – It is essential that medical devices used during delivery are used properly and only when necessary. Reckless or negligent use of devices like a vacuum or forceps during delivery can leave a baby permanently disfigured or injured.