Your Guide to Medical Negligence and Malpractice for Birth Injuries

A birth injury can occur in many different ways, such as when a forceps delivery is done incorrectly or an episiotomy that wasn’t needed. If you believe your case falls under the category of medical negligence and malpractice for birth injuries, then read on to learn more about it, including how much time must pass before one may pursue legal action against their doctor.

Childbirth is a special moment in a parent’s life. Unfortunately, the moment can get severely dampened due to the hospital’s negligence. No parent should have to witness the birth of their baby coupled with injury. But, when it happens, you shouldn’t hesitate to file a lawsuit. People opt to have their children at a hospital for safe delivery. But, there are cases when the hospital staff messes up the birth of your child. When they sustain injuries at birth, it can lead to severe complications. Complications may include extensive treatment with more piling medical bills. 

If you or your child received injuries during birth, the legal system is here to help. Here’s what you need to know about malpractice during birth to build your case: 

1. What Comes Under Malpractice During Birth?

When you go into labor, it is the hospital’s job to monitor your condition. If the struggle is taking too long or the baby is in a breech position, the hospital needs to intervene. The intervention may include manually turning the baby down by gently pushing down the belly or a C section. But, if the doctor is not careful, they may hurt the baby while administering care. Any form of neglect that you or your baby had to endure during birth comes under malpractice. You should check in with a birth injury attorney to get a referral on your case. Some neglect cases may include, the doctor may cut you deeply that scarred the baby during a C section. They may hold the baby wrong during vaginal birth, dislocating the baby’s shoulder. The doctor perhaps doesn’t give enough time to breathe in between pushes. Maybe you didn’t dilate enough, and the doctor forced you to push. 

2. What Are Some Common Birth Injuries?

Some injuries are permanent, while others heal over time. In rare cases, death may occur. If you wish to understand further, here are a few common birth injuries that occur:

  • Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy can occur due to a lack of oxygen and nutrients during birth. It’s the hospital’s job to monitor your condition. If your oxygen saturation is low, they need to strap an oxygen mask. If you continue to have the baby with oxygen deprivation, it will distress the child. As a result, the baby’s brain can get damaged, affecting their limbs’ ability to control. 

  • Bleeding In The Brain

If a doctor uses forceps or a vacuum for delivery, they can hurt the baby. If they clamp down wrong or yank too hard, it can cause bleeding in the brain. Epidural hematoma is bleeding between the outer layer of the tissue covering the brain and the skull. A doctor can cause a skull fracture which induces bleeding. If the hematoma increases, the pressure inside the brain soft spots may bulge. Babies with excessive bleeding may develop sleep apnea or seizures. 

  • Nerve Injuries

If an incision runs too deep or a baby gets incorrectly handled can injure the child—for example, brachial plexus injury. If a doctor stretches or compresses the baby from the upper arm too harshly, they may damage the nerves. The baby born may have upper body paralysis. 

  • Fractures

If the baby gets compressed or the bones get pushed hard together, they can cause fractures. These can happen if the mother isn’t dilated enough or the doctor yanks the baby hard. 

3. How Do I Prove The Doctor Was Negligent?

If you’re filing for a case, you need to have concrete evidence that the doctor was responsible for your child. There are numerous ways you can prove your case. The following will help you get a basic understanding:

  • Identify The Neglect. You need to have medical records of how the doctor treated you while you had your baby. They gave you medicines that harmed the baby. They put the baby under distress by not providing sufficient oxygen. They didn’t let you dilate enough, causing a vaginal tear. They injured the baby by clamping the forceps wrong. The injuries could also include overdosing the mother with the wrong medicine. 
  • Identify the Medical Provider. If the neglect came from the doctor, you need to identify them. Were they the ones who ignored the baby? Was the doctor not letting the nurse help you? Or was it the nurse not following a doctor’s orders? Was the nurse overindulgent and careless with your baby? Everyone present at your child’s birth needs to go on record. You should identify who was the supervisor of your case and who was the source of neglect. There are cases when the doctor decides to step out, and nurses try to assert their authority. 
  • Damages Sustained. You should have a record of what injuries you went through because of the neglect. It could be a massive medical bill or extreme pain that leads to further hospitalization. 
  • Injury to the Child. You need to identify how the cause of the neglect caused an injury. For example, if the doctors used forceps and clamped hard on the baby, injuring the nerves. It is also essential to establish how extensive the injuries go. Injuries like fractures heal, but Cerebral Palsy is permanent. In the most unfortunate circumstance, the child passes away due to neglect. 
  • Allow Lawyers To Collect Evidence. Lawyers will prepare the case for you. They will bring medical experts on board to identify the source of injury. Did the baby show signs while in the womb, or was it the doctor’s doing? They will also arrange your paperwork and witness testimonies to stand in court. They will also prove that the doctor and mother had a relationship. The proof may include the doctor signing the mother’s papers as well as delivering her baby. 

4. Why Should I Pursue A Case?

If the hospital injured your baby, you have every right to demand compensation. Birth injuries are financially and emotionally strenuous. A hospital owes you money for you to fund adequate care. You may need the money for therapy, mobility aids, and extensive physical therapy.

In some cases, there are also surgeries needed. If you get injured during the birth of your child, you may need help too. Healthcare doesn’t come cheap, and you shouldn’t have to pay for neglect you didn’t cause.

Wrap Up

Birth injuries are painful. It is heartbreaking for any parent to witness their child in such a vulnerable position. Birth injuries can happen due to several reasons. One of the major contributors is a doctor’s neglect. In such cases, it is essential that you, as a parent, pursue a lawsuit. The suffering you and your child endured should get compensated. Often birth injuries such as cerebral palsy require therapy and mobility aids. These don’t come cheap, and the piling medical bills can easily dent your savings. With a good lawyer, you can build a good case. The evidence you submit will help the court rule in your favor. However, nothing can remove the fact that birth injuries will be one of the most unfortunate mishaps by medical providers.