While childbirth is an exciting time for many families, a birth injury can be devastating for all involved. When health care professionals act negligently or fail to use reasonable care, a mother or child can be harmed.
Gordon & Partners’ medical malpractice lawyers discuss birth injuries and when a hospital may be held liable. If you or your child suffered a birth-related injury, schedule a free consultation to speak with a member of our legal team about your claim.
Types of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can happen to infants during labor and delivery. Types of birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy – This can be caused by maternal infections, infant infections, infant stroke and oxygen deprivation to the infant during the birthing process. Cerebral palsy has the potential to impact the child’s balance, mobility, posture, and cause numerous cognitive issues.
- Brachial plexus injury – This condition occurs as the infant’s upper arm sustains injury during delivery. It results in arm weakness and the infant’s inability to use specific arm muscles.
- Erb’s palsy – This is a nerve injury that can occur within the brachial plexus, which causes numbness, weakness, and loss of motion in the newborn’s arms. Most infants recover through physical therapy or surgery.
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy – HIE is the result of an infant’s brain not receiving enough oxygen during labor and delivery. The infant may experience brain cell death, brain damage, developmental issues, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and fatality.
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn – PPHN happens when circulation to the fetus is interrupted. This causes the infant to become unable to breathe. It may be caused due to a mother ingesting dangerous medications while pregnant, untreated infections in the mother or an unnecessary cesarean section delivery.
- Caput succedaneum – This is the swelling of an infant’s scalp, often caused by pressure to the head during delivery or a vacuum extraction delivery.
- Cephalohematoma – Caused by vacuum extraction delivery, this condition causes blood to collect between the cranial bone and skin. Cephalohematoma can lead to jaundice.
- Fractures – The infant’s clavicle is often susceptible to fracture during birth, which may be the result of failure to identify delivery complications.
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage – Pressure to the infant’s body during delivery can cause the blood vessels in the eye to rupture, creating a red patch within the white of the eye.
When a Hospital is Liable for Medical Malpractice
While some birth injuries cannot be helped, others are caused by negligence. When a birth injury results from a physician or hospital’s negligence, the parents of the injured infant may be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim for damages.
A hospital may be held liable for birth injuries if the facility failed to:
- Investigate the attending physician’s credentials to perform delivery
- Adequately staff the labor and delivery for quality care to both the mother and infant
- Have employees follow the treatment guidelines given by the mother’s physician
- Perform necessary clinical tests
- Keep accurate medical records for the mother and infant
- Follow admitting or discharging standards for the mother and infant
- Follow the accepted medical standard of care during labor and delivery
- Accurately monitor the mother and infant during labor and delivery
Learn More About Taking Legal Action
If your child has suffered a birth-related injury, you should consider contacting a West Palm Beach medical malpractice lawyer from our firm to discuss possibly filing a medical malpractice claim. You may be eligible to obtain compensation to help cover therapy, in-home medical care, assistive devices and other additional treatments or services your child may need.
Request a free consultation to get started. Our services are provided on contingency, so there are no fees to pay up front. We only receive payment if we help you obtain compensation.
Gordon & Partners. 1 (855) 722-2552. We are available to take your call 24/7.