Birth injuries, or injuries suffered by the infant during the delivery process, can cause serious and life threatening complications. Newborns' physical features are not fully developed at delivery, as such, almost any part of the newborn can be easily injured by the delivering doctor
or assisting hospital
While most birth injuries are minor (such as bruises
), some can be much more serious (traumatic brain injuries
). Additionally, nerves and bones
can be easily damaged or fractured. Scarring
can also result from improper delivery.
Neurologic disorders, often called developmental disabilities, include mental retardation
, cerebral palsy
, learning disabilities, and general brain damage. Neurologic disorders caused by medical malpractice during delivery account for the largest lawsuit damage awards
. In addition, cerebral palsy is the most common birth injury leading to legal action, however, half of all cerebral palsy cases are the result of genetics, not medical malpractice.
Birth injury related cerebral palsy is often caused by birth asphyxia, a condition in which the infant suffers from a lack of oxygen during delivery. If cerebral palsy or other medical conditions result from birth asphyxia, obstetricians and medical staff who fail to conduct electronic fetal monitoring (EFM) or fail to follow proper post-birth observations of the infant, may be liable for medical malpractice.
Often, when delivery doctors suspect that birth asphyxia may occur, a cesarean section (c-section) is ordered. A c-section may reduce the likelihood of birth asphyxia, and failure to perform the procedure may constitute malpractice in certain circumstances.
In addition to complications relating to birth asphyxia, obstetricians and other medical professionals must remain vigilant in order to prevent birth related infections
. Such infections can cause cerebral palsy and other conditions.
If your child suffers from a serious medical condition caused by medical malpractice during delivery, it may be important to contact a birth injuries lawyer
who can help you protect your child's legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits
within which you must commence suit.
- Brachial Plexus | Erb's Palsy
- Children's Health Matters: Overview
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Cytotec / Misoprostol
- In Vitro Fertilization: Overview
- Nurses & Assistants