Birth Injuries: The Legal Aspects
As parents prepare themselves to welcome a new life into their family, it goes without saying that physicians are responsible for offering medical care to both the mother and the child. Their duties include performing routine check-ups, suggesting relevant prenatal vitamins and at the end of pregnancy, safely delivering the baby.
Sometimes infants are born with problems borne out of an undiagnosed birth defect, or a birth injury sustained during labor or delivery. While physicians and medical staff are only human, they bear tremendous responsibility for the infant’s health and any medical negligence here is unacceptable.
A birth injury lawyer, like those found at: are adept at recognizing the primary symptoms associated with birth injuries and can guide you through any complexities that you might face while taking legal action in such instances.
Birth Injury vs. Birth Defect
Birth defects are health problems that are inflicted on an infant from the outset, based on their DNA. Common examples include Down Syndrome, heart murmur, cleft palate and other heart problems arising from their unique DNA structure.
Brain-related injuries often develop from a lack of oxygen, such as hypoxia, anoxia, perinatal asphyxia and birth asphyxia. Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) is another birth injury where the brain is deprived of oxygen circulation.
However, some birth defects arise from outside interventions, like medication used during pregnancy. These medications vary from birth control drugs to anti-depressant pills and such defects could very easily have been prevented if not prescribed by the physician.
Let’s take a look at the most common causes of preventable birth injuries:
- Improper twisting or pulling of the infant at the time of delivery
- Failure to perform or schedule an emergency C-section
- Improper usage of birth-assistance tools like vacuum extraction tool or forceps
- Administering wrong type or dosage of medication to the mother during labor or pregnancy
- Failure to regularly monitor the infant, including fetal heartbeat
There are several other reasons that can be harmful for your infant, even mortal peril; including inexperience, exhaustion or inattentiveness by the medical staff.
An experienced doctor will be more than capable to handle a complicated delivery. However, sometimes it could be a simple medical negligence, like improper viewing of the ultrasound, or other relevant images.
Most complicated labors and birth injuries can be prevented by comparing the size of the infant in proportion to the birth canal, the infant’s position during pregnancy, and the condition and positioning of the placenta and umbilical cord. Difficult labors can lead to Erb’s palsy and other associated arm problems, or also brain injuries such as intellectual disabilities and cerebral palsy, or worse. Also, fatality can occur if the infant is underweight or malnourished and suffering from folic acid deficiency, and the doctor fails to prescribe relevant medicines. If the infant’s birth injury is related to the failure of the doctor performing the relevant tests, then it’s a case of clear medical negligence. If the infant is born with a predominant birth defect, and the doctor isn’t aware of it, that will qualify as a blatant case of birth defect.
Consequences of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are extremely serious and should be dealt with utmost importance. So, it’s crucial to track your child’s symptoms and consult a doctor as soon as possible. In addition to the common disorders, birth injuries can also cause a myriad of additional medical issues, like:
- Lack of strength and stamina in the long-term
- Lack or decreased nerve sensations
- Emotional and cognitive impairment
- Underdeveloped bones
- Dysfunctional joints and Osteoarthritis
- Psychological and emotional distress
The expenditures related to treating brain related injuries in the long term can be substantial. Treating a child suffering from cerebral palsy (CP) in their lifetime amounts to approximately $1 million, whereas the costs for treating a child suffering a hearing loss and vision impairment ranges around $400,000 and $500,000 respectively.
Role of a Birth Injury Lawyer
Every state is equipped with its own laws regarding birth injury malpractice. A birth injury lawyer can work through the red tape and provide requisite results in such cases.
If you are seeking compensation against such malpractices or negligence, it’s crucial you contact a professional firm equipped to handle such cases. Our comprehensive support, legal counsel and legal counsel are top of the line and we pride ourselves as the best.