Parents joyfully await the birth of their baby, planning for their new family addition. Unfortunately, there are some babies who are injured during the labor or delivery process. These injuries may range from minor to severe or even life-threatening. Mistakes made by doctors during pregnancy or labor could be to blame for many of these incidents. Some babies are at higher risk for the possibility of birth injuries than others.
Birth Injury Risks
There are a number of conditions that may increase the risk for a birth injury to occur. Some of the most common risks for birth injuries include:
- Large-sized Baby
- Premature Baby
- Baby Positioned Improperly
- Overweight Mother
- Mother Has a Small Pelvis
- Complications at Birth
- Assisted Birth
When any of these conditions occur the doctor must take special precautions to ensure that the baby is not injured. Some of these conditions should be noted before labor begins. For example, the ultrasound and examination will show the precise size of the baby prior to birth.
What Causes Birth Injuries
Babies can be hurt during labor or delivery for a variety of reasons. If the delivery becomes difficult or prolonged, the baby may suffer distress and loss of oxygen. In some instances, a baby’s large size causes him to become stuck during delivery. The doctor may need to use a device such as forceps or a vacuum to help extract the infant. Sometimes a c-section should be done to avoid causing injury to the infant..These complications can cause mistakes to be made by the doctor or medical team.
Types of Birth Injuries
Babies can be harmed in several serious ways during labor or delivery. Lack of oxygen can result in serious and permanent brain damage, which could require lifelong care. The baby may suffer broken bones or bruises that may heal over time. Damage to the brachial plexus can happen when the infant is pulled or twisted when delivered. Erb’s palsy and cerebral palsy are just two of the severe types of injuries that may happen. Sadly, many birth injuries can and should be prevented when they are caused by a mistake made by the doctor.
Mistakes May Cause Birth Injuries
Doctors are held to a high standard of care and are required to ensure that patients are not harmed by their actions or lack of actions. Doctors can and often do make mistakes. When a mistake causes harm to the baby the doctor should be held responsible. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional knowingly does something that caused an injury.
Parents of infants hurt during birth may be entitled to compensation. The costs for care for their child could reach into the millions of dollars, especially when permanent damage has been done. In addition to medical costs, families may also seek damages that include money for pain and suffering and for loss of enjoyment of life, among other things.
If your infant was harmed during birth, call the experienced lawyers at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation.
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