The birth of a child is supposed to be one of the happiest moments in the life of a family. Unfortunately, for some the memorable occasions turns into a nightmare. That is because, at rates far higher than many suspect, childbirth can result in complications and injuries to the mother or child. Because of the delicate nature of the situation, when a new child is hurt during birth, the consequences are often quite severe. Birth injuries can prove to cause lifelong harm and can even be fatal.
When Is Medical Malpractice Involved?
Following a traumatic childbirth that leads to injury, mothers and fathers often have the same question: Could this have been prevented? Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The delivery of a new baby is a delicate process that is very fact-specific. Two births may be very different, requiring different actions and medical decisions. At times an injury may have been unpreventable. However, many injuries can be prevented if the caregivers acted differently in response to developing problems. When that happens, medical malpractice may have been committed.
How is a family supposed to know whether the injury to their child should have been prevented?
The sad reality is that on many occasions the only way to get answers regarding the quality of care that their medical professionals provided is by demanding more information. Expectedly, many hospitals, doctors, and nurses are not exactly forthcoming when it comes to providing honest information about quality of care issues following a negative outcome.
In any event, it is important for local families to be aware of ways that some of the most common birth injuries might have been caused by negligence before, during, or after the delivery of the child. Two of the most common injuries often caused by malpractice are cerebral palsy and brachial plexus injuries:
Cerebral Palsy: Perhaps the most well-known injury that strikes during delivery, cerebral palsy refers to different injuries that affect a child’s movement, balance, and posture. In most instances cerebral palsy is caused by oxygen deprivation during birth or gestation. For this reason, it is critical for medical professionals to act quickly when they identify possible fetal distress which is causes oxygen problems. This might mean ordering a C-section so that a child is born as soon as possible to minimize time without oxygen. When a doctor fails to order that C-section as early as possible, then a child may suffer a preventable injury.
Brachial Plexus Injuries: The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves near the shoulder. At times the force applied during a birth may cause that nerve bundle to be stretched, torn, or ripped. As a result, the child can suffer mobility problems in the shoulder, arm, hands, and fingers. One of the most common ways that this injury occurs is when a child’s shoulder becomes caught on the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. If the medical professional does not act with appropriate care when trying to deliver the child in those situations, then the brachial plexus may be damaged.
For help learning more about how these legal issues might apply in your situation, please take a moment to reach out to the attorneys at our firm. There is no cost or obligation to share your story and learn what options are available in your case to ensure your injured child has access to the best available resources and treatment to help with their injuries.