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When Is a Birth Injury a Medical Malpractice Case?

A birth injury can be devastating. It can be even more devastating to learn that the injuries could have been prevented. When the family should be welcoming their new child and celebrating, they must spend their time treating injuries, reviewing tests, and talking to doctors about the prognosis.

When Are Birth Injuries a Medical Malpractice Case?

A birth injury is a medical malpractice case when the injury results from the negligence of medical care providers. When a doctor, nurse, midwife, hospital staff, or other professional fails to meet their position’s standards, and an injury results, it is a medical malpractice case.

How Do Medical Malpractice Birth Injuries Occur?

Ways that medical malpractice birth injuries occur include:

  • Not recognizing signs of distress
  • Failing to respond appropriately when signs of distress occur
  • Medication errors
  • Chart mix-ups and documentation errors
  • Not addressing special risk factors that are known before childbirth, like high weight or prematurity
  • Inadequate monitoring of the mother and child during birth
  • Healthcare provider fatigue or having too large of a patient load
  • Poor education, hiring unqualified workers, failing to learn the latest techniques and developments
  • Sanitation problems that cause infection
  • Errors in pain management
  • Delayed or misdiagnosis, failing to take the needed information into account

Injuries can happen in a variety of ways relating to lack of skill, attention, and judgment. A mother and child need the appropriate healthcare for their specific situation. Known risk factors should be accounted for.

Identifying Medical Malpractice in Birth Injury Cases

Medical malpractice can occur when a healthcare professional doesn’t provide adequate care during childbirth. It is not simply a bad outcome or the fact that an injury occurred. Sometimes, injuries occur in childbirth despite best efforts and adequate medical attention.

When a person seeks medical care for childbirth, they have the right to expect reasonable skill and attention from their medical care team. They can assume that their care providers have reasonable training and skill. They can expect their healthcare professionals to give adequate time and attention to them during treatment.

Medical malpractice occurs when a professional fails to meet acceptable standards, either by doing something incorrectly or failing to do something necessary. If an injury results, it is a birth injury medical malpractice case.

Resulting medical malpractice birth injuries

Some birth injuries are:

  • Cerebral palsy, impacting muscle development and motor skills
  • Brain damage, perinatal asphyxia, oxygen deprivation
  • Facial paralysis, resulting from too much pressure, including from forceps or vacuum extraction
  • Neurological problems, spinal cord damage
  • Cephalohematoma, bleeding under a cranial bone, creating risks for meningitis and anemia
  • Brachial Plexus, a result of nerve damage, may cause lifelong complications
  • Broken bones and fractures, the amount of needed medical intervention may vary
  • Caput Succedaneum, swelling of the scalp

(Sources: Dumpa, Kamity, Birth Trauma; Mayo Clinic, Cerebral palsy)

How Are Medical Malpractice Birth Injuries Proven?

Proving medical malpractice requires proving that healthcare professionals breached acceptable medical standards and that an injury resulted. There are two primary inquiries – malpractice and injury.

First, you must prove that the healthcare provider committed malpractice. This is done by providing expert evidence of the applicable standards of medical care and how the care provider failed to live up to the standard. Medical professionals who are not a part of the victim’s case directly may review records and offer an opinion.

Second, the victim must prove that a birth injury resulted from the malpractice. Expert and factual evidence is typically necessary. Medical records, expert opinion, and lay witness testimony can all show how the birth injury resulted from medical malpractice.

Pursuing Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Compensation

Medical professionals have a duty to uphold a high standard of care. When malpractice occurs during childbirth, it may be grounds for legal liability. A victim may receive compensation. The amount they receive may be significant, given that a child may be impacted for the rest of their life.

At Bobby Jones Law, we help victims of medical malpractice exercise their legal rights. When something has gone wrong during childbirth, we can evaluate your case and explain your options.

Let us fight for you to receive the financial relief that you deserve and recognition of what happened. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

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