Medical malpractice, in general, refers to the situation where a doctor, nurse, or another member of the medical staff is negligent and as a direct result of their negligence, the patient is injured or even killed. Unfortunately, medical malpractice is more common than most people think and more common than most doctors and hospitals would like to admit.
Birth-related medical malpractice is what it sounds – it has to do with medical malpractice in the birth setting. For it to be birth-related medical malpractice, it can involve the mother or the baby, or both. The injury to the mother or child can occur during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. While birth-related medical malpractice is rare, and by far the majority of labors and deliveries are handled by competent doctors and medical staff, a small percentage of patients are victims of medical malpractice, and sometimes the cases are severe.
Birth Injuries to the Infant
Let’s examine some of the common birth injuries that are sustained by infants:
- Erb’s Palsy: A nerve-related injury that can be caused by the neck or shoulder being overstretched during delivery.
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy: This is a condition where the baby does not receive enough oxygen to the brain. This can lead to brain damage, death of the brain cells, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and in worst cases, death.
- Broken Bones: It is the most common for a newborn to sustain bone fractures in the clavicle or collarbone. While some birth fractures are unavoidable, sometimes they could have been prevented, like when the doctor should have spotted probable complications and he or she should have elected to have a C-section, but they didn’t.
Unfortunately, there are times when a doctor or a nurse did something, or they should have done something and they failed to, and the mother or baby, or both, were put in a dangerous situation. If the negligence did in fact, cause injury to the mother or baby, it is quite possible that medical malpractice occurred. If the mother or child died, it may give rise to a wrongful death case.
Next: Medical Malpractice: What is Informed Consent?
Medical malpractice cases are complicated, but that does not mean they cannot be won. If you believe that you have a medical malpractice case, we urge you to contact our Plano personal injury firm to explore your legal options.