When there are injuries at birth, it accounts for some of the most difficult and emotional malpractice cases. They usually yield the highest amount in damages. It is easy to understand why this happens because there is nothing worse to most people than a child or mother being injured because of a mistake that could have been prevented.
One crucial fact to know that just because the mother or child is injured before or during birth, it does not mean it is medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is when negligence happens on the part of the health care professional during treatment or birth. The professional may be a doctor, nurse, other staff, or hospital. Negligence means that the treatment provided falls below the appropriate standard of care, and the mother or child is harmed. A birth injury impacts mothers and children before, during, or after birth.
Some injuries that can happen to a mother include infection, bleeding that is not controlled, a uterine rupture, complications from anesthesia. If a medical instrument or some other item is left in the mother after a procedure, that can cause an injury to the mother. Some injuries that can happen to a child include death, fractures, injuries to soft tissue, brain damage, nerve damage, and congenital disabilities. It is not always easy to determine the cause of some of the injuries, but many of them can be tied to negligence.
What Could Be Caused by Malpractice?
If a doctor fails to properly diagnose something for the pregnant mother or fetus, that could lead to birth injuries for the mother or child. There could be injuries such as placental abruption when the placenta separates from the uterus before birth. Placental abruption can cause internal bleeding, brain damage, premature birth, and possibly death. Preeclampsia is another condition that may be missed. Preeclampsia causes high blood pressure in the mother and can lead to many complications, including stroke, seizures, placental abruption, restriction of fetal growth, and brain injuries.
There could be mistakes made during delivery, as well. If the mother requires a C-section, there could be an injury to the child if cut or in other ways impacted by the surgical equipment. There is a chance that some piece of equipment could be left inside the mother. If the medical team does not monitor the vital signs for the mother or child, they may not realize one or both of them is in distress. During vaginal birth, the doctor may need to use a vacuum or forceps to get the child out. If they are misused, it can cause injuries to the child. If you think any of these actions have occurred, you may need a legal tip or two.