What kind of injuries are involved in birth injury lawsuits?

One of the most important moments in an individual or couple’s lives can be the birth of a child. And ideally, a qualified team of medical workers will be on hand to assist in the process, at all stages. Unfortunately there are times when the medical care that parents turn to ends up causing harm. Statistics have shown that out of 1000 births, 6 to 8 children end up with birth injuries resulting in permanent damage and death.

Types of Birth Injuries

There are several types of conditions that are a consequence of medical malpractice, including

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain injury
  • Brain bleed
  • Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy / Oxygen Deprivation
  • Meconium Aspiration
  • Bacterial Meningitis
  • Stillborn/death
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Erb’s palsy
  • NEC Baby formula
  • Fractured collarbones
  • Shoulder Dystocia
  • salmon and kidney disease

A few of these conditions are not noticeable at the time of birth, like cerebral palsy or other brain injuries. These will take time to present themselves. Cerebral palsy is one of the most common conditions resulting from birth related trauma, leading to lifelong suffering and debilitation. They will have stiff muscles, uncontrollable body movements, and poor coordination. Some of these undetected birth injuries can lead to mild to severe motor function issues, vision and hearing impairments, and speech disorders.

Causes of Birth Injuries

Medical staff and doctors have a duty of care to mothers and their children, but when they fail to properly monitor their condition we can see what types of injuries can result. There are several technical errors that can occur during the birthing process, including

  • C-section errors
  • Misuse of forceps and/or vacuums
  • Errors in inducing labor
  • Vaginal birth after c-section

Some other causes of birth injuries are

  • Failure to notice that the baby is in distress before or during labor
  • Failure to deliver the baby fast enough when distress is detected
  • Failure to monitor the baby’s heart rate
  • Failure to monitor a high-risk mother with preeclampsia or gestational diabetes
  • Failure to address complications during delivery
  • Failure to perform a c-section in a timely manner

There are also birth injuries that occur when babies are treated in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU). One example is if a baby’s blood sugar is not properly monitored and drops to a low level, then severe brain injuries will occur. Another risk of harm is jaundice, which when inadequately treated can lead to a buildup of bilirubin, causing a form of brain damage called kernicterus. 

Filing your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

One of the reasons to file a birth injury lawsuit is to recoup and receive financial costs and damages. The cost of care for a child with birth injuries is substantial, and families deserve to recover those costs. To file your lawsuit, you or your birth injury attorney must file in the county where the injury occurred. Plaintiffs must be able to demonstrate that the physician acted in a way that was against standard practices of care, and that their deviation directly resulted in harm to the baby. In order to have a successful case, the plaintiff should have a specialist on their team as a witness who can testify about the typical standards of care that physicians should follow during childbirth. Your attorney can aid you in selecting the right witness for your case. 

Because many of these injuries are preventable, and the costs of dealing with the conditions are so high, it is worth seeking out legal representation to help you through these difficult times. It is also a way of holding the hospital staff accountable for their actions, and preventing them from causing harm in the future.

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