Birth Injuries Caused By Medical Negligence
Healthcare professionals are expected to provide quality care to patients. In regards to childbirth, this includes monitoring and assisting throughout labor to minimize the risk of complications. Unfortunately, if a medical professional is negligent in their care, they can cause trauma or birth injuries to occur.
Birth injuries caused by medical negligence can have long-lasting or lifelong consequences for both the child and parents. Here, medical malpractice lawyer Lynn C. Harris, who serves individuals in the Salt Lake City, UT, and Provo, UT, area, discusses negligent medical techniques that commonly lead to birth injury lawsuits, and explains how parents can determine if they have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim.
Failure to Monitor
Throughout labor and delivery, medical staff should be monitoring the vitals of both the mother and child. Continuous fetal monitoring can be achieved either externally, with an ultrasound transducer, or internally with an electrode. Fetal monitoring allows doctors to look for signs of distress, such as a consistently rapid heart rate or a sudden drop in heart rate. A failure to monitor can lead to a number of complications or birth injuries related to:
- A prolapsed umbilical cord
- Placental abruption
- Fetal hemorrhage
- Oxygen deprivation
- Neurological injury
- Cerebral palsy
Forceps and Vacuum Use
If a baby becomes stuck in the vaginal canal, doctors may use medical devices, like forceps or a vacuum extractor, to guide the baby out of the mother’s womb. Unfortunately, if these devices are not used properly, injuries may occur. Improper forcep placement or excessive pulling can lead to birth injuries such as:
- Skull fracture
- Traumatic brain injury
- Brain bleeding
- Brachial plexus injury or Erb’s palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage
Many women want to experience natural childbirth. However, if complications make a vaginal delivery too difficult or dangerous, it is a doctor’s responsibility to order a C-section. Ordering a C-section can prevent a number of birth injuries, while delaying to do so can be the cause of complications. A delayed C-section can deplete a child’s oxygen supply, which can lead to Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) injuries, cerebral palsy, or even death.
Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
The first consideration when determining if there may be grounds to file a medical malpractice claim is whether the child suffered from a birth injury or birth defect. Birth defects are genetic or congenital issues that are the result of natural causes, whereas birth injuries are physical injuries to an infant’s organs, bones, or brain that occur during the birthing process.
Parents in the Salt Lake City area who suspect that their child’s birth injuries may be the cause of medical malpractice should discuss their concerns with a lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney Harris examines the circumstances surrounding a birth injury to advise clients on their best course of legal action.
Get In Touch
If your child suffered a birth injury caused by medical negligence, you may be due substantial financial compensation for physical, emotional, and financial damages. To discuss the details of your situation with medical malpractice lawyer Lynn C. Harris, send us a message online or call our law firm at (801) 375-9801.