For expectant parents, the wait for the arrival of a beloved baby is filled with anticipation for the joy that will come once the baby has arrived. Part of the process is finding a doctor and other medical professionals in whom the parents place their trust for a healthy pregnancy and uneventful birth. However, when a medical mistake by that trusted doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional leads to long-term or permanent harm to the child because of negligence during labor and delivery, it is devastating. There are many things that a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional can do wrong when a mother is giving birth that will irreparably alter the bright future of a child.
The delivery process may lead to minor injuries to the baby, including cuts and bruises, even when the attending healthcare providers do everything right. Babies often are injured in the head, neck, and shoulder areas. More severe injuries may involve broken or fractured ones. Often, when a child is injured during birth, the harm is fleeting and the injury heals. In more serious cases, the child may suffer from a lifetime of struggles. When the injury was caused by a preventable error, it is critical to hold the person who committed the malpractice accountable.
Although most births do not involve serious harm to the baby, there are many things that can lead to injuries to the mother or the baby, including the following:
- Failing to monitor the vital signs of the mother and baby;
- Failing to respond to the baby’s lack of oxygen;
- Failing to diagnose a serious problem that requires medical intervention;
- Failing to address complications relating to high birth weight, physical limitations in the mother that could complicate delivery, or a baby that is not positioned properly for birth;
- Failing to respond to problems arising out of a prolonged delivery;
- Failing to order an emergency Cesarean section in a timely manner;
- Failing to treat an infection in the mother, leading to transmission of the infection to the infant;
- Failing to take appropriate actions to prevent a premature birth; and
- Failing to use forceps or a vacuum extraction devices in the proper manner.
Some of the more common injuries that result from medical negligence during the delivery of a baby include:
- Mental disabilities caused by oxygen deprivation during the delivery, which can result from a separated placenta, the umbilical cord getting wrapped around the baby’s neck, or serious blood loss, as well as other medical emergencies. Oxygen deprivation may be partial (hypoxia) or complete (anoxia). The range of harm can be mild to severe;
- Traumatic brain injury – this can occur from physical trauma to the infant’s head and can lead to permanent physical, mental, and emotional disabilities;
- Cephalohematoma – this bleeding in the area between the periosteum and the skull can result in long-term damage if the condition is not diagnosed and treated properly;
- Nerve damage that leads to a loss of mobility;
- Spinal cord damage that leads to partial or complete paralysis;
- Erb’s palsy;
- Bells’ palsy;
- Klumpke’s palsy;
- Cerebral palsy; and
- Serious broken bones and fractures that may not heal completely, leaving the child with a permanent physical disability.
When a baby has been injured due to the negligence of a doctor or other healthcare professional, the parents must ensure that their child has the resources that he or she needs to lead the best life possible. It may be possible to negotiate a settlement, but typically medical professionals deny that there has been any wrongdoing and it is necessary to bring a legal action to get compensation to pay bills, ensure ongoing medical treatment for the life of the child, and address the pain and suffering of the child that could have been avoided if the doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider simply adhered to the applicable standard of care.
Stern Law, PLLC Advocates for Children Injured During the Delivery Process
There are times when a baby is injured during the delivery process and there is nobody to blame. However, when the negligence of a medical professional has caused serious, permanent harm to an innocent baby, it is crucial to take action to get him or her the help that he needs for the rest of his or her life. At Stern Law, PLLC, our attorney has spent more than 30 years fighting hard on behalf of those who were harmed as the result of a preventable mistake. Our goal is to get necessary help for the innocent victims of malpractice. Stern Law, PLLC also provides resources for anyone with questions or concerns about seizures or other birth-related injuries. We have knowledgeable and dedicated staff members available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, to answer any questions, regardless of whether or not you are a client. Call us at 1-844-808-7529 or fill out an online contact form in order to learn how we can help you get through this difficult time.