If you and/or your unborn baby suffered injury during the delivery or labor process, chances are the harm might have been prevented under the right circumstances. Perhaps in your case the doctor might have chosen a course of treatment that was medically inappropriate. They may have also failed to use the right skills to care for you and your baby before and during birth. We advise that you talk to a New Bedford birth injury lawyer to find out the best course of action to take in your particular situation. With that said, we will look at some of the birth injuries that can be prevented and if you can build a medical malpractice case if those injuries happened to you.
Birthing injuries can happen to you or to your baby. Let’s discuss some of the most common injuries that can happen to newborns.
Erb’s palsy is caused by an injury to the nerves surrounding the shoulder. It can affect one or all the five nerves that supply movement and feeling to the newborn’s arm. The paralysis can be complete or partial and the damage to the nerves could range from tearing to bruising. Some babies are able to recover on their own but others might require physiotherapy. It’s important for your baby to get treated for this condition during their first year of life.
This condition develops during a long or hard delivery. The condition can also develop during vacuum extraction. The most obvious sign of Caput Succedaneum is swelling of the newborn’s scalp. The condition may be detected even before labor begins through a prenatal ultrasound. The good news is that the condition usually resolves itself and the newborn makes a complete recovery. However, there is a possibility that your baby could develop jaundice if bruising is involved.
Cephalohematoma occurs when blood accumulates in the space between the skull and the scalp of the infant. The condition is usually caused by a long and difficult delivery or vacuum extraction. Since the injury occurs above the skull, there is no risk of brain injury. The condition typically resolves itself within a few weeks to three months.
Newborn babies are more likely to suffer from a fractured collarbone. They can occur when the doctor fails to spot complications and take action with the right course of treatment. However, most of the time birth fractures are usually unavoidable.
This is a very serious condition where the baby’s brain is deprived of oxygen. As a result, the baby may suffer from cerebral palsy, epilepsy, brain damage or even death.
This is a birth related injury that causes blood vessels in the newborn’s eyes to rupture. It does not cause damage to the baby’s eyes and the condition usually resolves on its own.
When Do Birth Injuries Lead to a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Medical malpractice is when a doctor does or fails to do something during the birth process. However, medical malpractice cases are not as straight forward as we would like them to be. Just because your child suffered a birth related injury, does not mean the doctor was negligent.
You have to take into account the medical standard of care. This means that you have to show that a doctor with similar training would have handled the situation better given the circumstances.
Sometimes a birth injury is considered a necessary risk if the life of the newborn or the mother is in danger, especially if the situation calls for drastic measures. However, if your baby develops birth injuries when labor was going well, you might have grounds to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor.
If the doctor also fails to respond quickly to a dangerous situation, you may hold them accountable for medical negligence. Also, if your baby dies because of childbirth injury, it may give rise to a medical malpractice claim. In such a situation, you might have to file your case under wrongful death.
Medical malpractice cases are complicated and you need to talk to someone who understands birth injuries. At Kevin P Landry Law Offices, we can review your case free of charge. Visit our offices today or call us at 508-999-0800 for your free initial consultation.