Medical professionals owe a duty to both mother and child before, during, and after delivery. Should a medical team act negligently and as a result there is an injury to the mother and/or child, the family may have a claim against the healthcare professional or the facility for medical malpractice.
Some birth injuries are unavoidable. However, others are the result of negligence on the part of the doctor, nurse, obstetrician, or another medical professional. Birth injuries commonly occur due to the medical team’s failure to react quickly to signs that the child is in fetal distress. Other cause of birth injuries can include:
- Failing to monitor vital signs,
- Failing to perform a timely C-section
- Failing to administer medications properly
- Improperly using forceps
Failure of a medical professional to provide their patient with adequate care can result in brain damage, irreversible paralysis, or even death.
A particularly common cause of birth injury is abnormal birth position. If the child is either in breech position or shoulder position, and the physician fails to take proper steps needed to ensure the child’s safe delivery, serious consequences to the mother and child can result. In some cases a C-section may be required.
If the child’s abnormal birth position is not addressed then the child may not be able to receive enough oxygen or brain damage may result if the child is not delivered within an appropriate amount of time.
If the child becomes lodged in the birth canal during delivery, some of the means of removal can lead to serious and permanent damage. If the doctor uses forceps on the child, head injuries, shoulder and neck injuries, and nerve damage can result. Additionally, if the child is pushed or pulled during the birth process, then the child’s long term health and development can be impacted. Lastly, if vacuum extraction is negligently performed, serious injury can also result.
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