When parents are expecting the birth of a child they're hoping for the best. They expect their healthcare professionals to perform to the best of their abilities throughout the pregnancy. You expect they will follow best practices through every stage of the process from prenatal vitamins, regularly scheduled check-ups, and ultimately the delivery of your baby.
Unfortunately, many children born in the U.S. experience difficulty during childbirth that can have devastating consequences such as birth injury, birth defects, and even death.
Medical professionals are human and susceptible to mistakes. If those errors are negligent and result in injury or death, they can be held responsible for medical malpractice.
Birth Injury vs. Birth Defect
Birth defects may result from your child's DNA. Common birth defects include Down Syndrome, heart murmur and cleft palate. However, some birth defects can manifest from factors other than DNA. For example, some medications have been linked to birth defects such as certain antidepressants and birth control medication. If a medical professional prescribed a potentially dangerous substance during your pregnancy, it could constitute negligence.
Birth Injury, on the other hand, occurs when your child is injured during pregnancy or delivery due to external factors that are typically preventable. Here are some examples of ways that birth injury presents itself:
- Improper delivery methods (trauma from pulling or twisting the infant)
- Improper medication. Administering too much anesthesia, not enough or the wrong kind
- Failure to properly monitor for infant distress and/or heartbeat
- Medical errors by doctors, nurses, or technicians
- Improper use of implements during childbirth (forceps, extraction tools)
When Negligence Causes Injury
Childbirth can be difficult. Complications are not uncommon, and medical professions must do their very best to ensure the health and safety of both the child and the mother. When injuries occur that are avoidable, and when medical professionals fail to meet the appropriate standard of care, they may be held responsible for those injuries.
Negligence can take many forms and occur throughout pregnancy. Doctors prescribing the wrong medication, incorrect dosage of medication or a failure to recognize the need for medication are just some examples. Other injuries seen during delivery can manifest from inexperienced or negligent hospital employees such as failure to monitor the position and heartbeat of the baby, or failure detect other complications such as the umbilical cord being wrapped around the baby's neck.
There are a myriad of issues that can arise during pregnancy and delivery. If any of these have caused an injury, they could be considered medical negligence.
If you suspect your child's injuries could have been avoided and wish to seek justice, contact The Reinartz Law Firm. Our medical malpractice attorneys are available to speak with you during a free consultation and will explain your rights and options.