Common Causes of Birth Injury
When prospective parents are asked about their dreams for their baby, most say all they want is a healthy pregnancy and birth. Unfortunately, a baby’s health can be impacted by a number of things. But there is a distinct difference between naturally occurring issues that cause birth defects, and negligent care that causes physical birth injuries.
Birth injury lawyer Lynn C. Harris understands the short- and long-term consequences of birth injuries. He is prepared to help our Salt Lake City, UT, clients fight for maximum compensation when birth injury causes are the result of medical malpractice. Here, our clients can learn a little more about medical errors that can lead to birth injuries.
Pre- or Post-mature Delivery
If a baby is born either prematurely or post-maturely, the risk of birth complications and birth injuries increases. Doctors establish a baby’s anticipated due date based on information regarding the mother’s most recent menstrual cycle. However, it is a medical professional’s job to continually monitor the growth of the fetus to determine how it is maturing and when the mother should be ready for birth.
If there are signs that a woman may go into labor prematurely, physicians are required to follow standards of care to prevent a premature birth. Similarly, if a woman fails to go into labor once a baby is fully mature, physicians must take steps to induce labor or perform a C-section. If improper birth dating or failure to respond to signs of pre- or post-mature labor result in birth injuries, that can be classified as medical malpractice.
Failure to Monitor the Fetus
When a woman goes into labor, medical professionals are responsible for the care of both the mother and child. During labor, the fetus should be continually monitored. Fetal heart rate is one of the most obvious indicators of fetal distress.
If medical professionals fail to monitor the fetus throughout labor, they can miss potential complications and, therefore, fail to respond with appropriate medical assistance. Failure to monitor the fetus can lead to birth injuries such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy, periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), and intellectual and/or development disabilities.
Failure to Provide Oxygen When Needed
Proper monitoring is vital to the health of a newborn baby and its mother, but monitoring is only helpful if medical professionals respond appropriately to potential signs of distress. Unfortunately, even when fetal distress is apparent, physicians do not always act. If a medical professional fails to provide oxygen when needed, catastrophic birth injuries can occur.
Failure to Perform a Timely C-section
Many women desire a natural birth, but that is not always the safest option. The baby’s size, positioning, breathing, and many other circumstances can make vaginal delivery too dangerous for the mother or child. If a doctor fails to perform a C-section in a timely manner, birth injuries may occur. Our Salt Lake City clients who have suffered birth injuries as the result of a delayed C-section may be due financial compensation for related damages.
Improper Use of Delivery Instruments
Newborn babies should always be handled with care. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for medical professionals to use excessive force when delivering a baby, especially when delivery instruments, like forceps or a vacuum extractor, are used. Improper use of delivery instruments may cause birth injuries such as Erb’s palsy for our Salt Lake City clients.
If your child suffered a birth injury and you suspect medical malpractice, it is imperative that you work with a birth injury attorney. Lynn C. Harris and our legal team have worked many cases involving medical malpractice and birth injuries. We are ready to help you fight for the compensation you are due. To learn more, call (801) 521-3200 and set up a personal consultation at your earliest convenience.