Medical negligence (malpractice) during childbirth is when a doctor, hospital, or other medical personnel acts negligently and causes either injury to the mother during pregnancy or delivery, or injury to the infant during pregnancy or delivery.
No parent should ever have to endure the pain that can result from medical negligence or malpractice during a pregnacy or birth. But when it happens, it is extremely important to hold the responsible party accountable to not only protect your family, but also to help prevent the error from occuring again.
Birth injury claims each have their own set of rules about who can sue and what damages can be recovered from the lawsuit.
Birth Injuries to the Mother or Infant
Although it is rare, sometimes a physician’s malpractice causes the mother, infant, or both, to be injured either before or after the birth. Some examples of birth-related malpractice injuries include negligently failing to control excessive blood loss by the mother post-delivery, or negligently failing to monitor the baby’s oxygen intake pre-delivery and post-delivery
Injuries to the Infant
If an infant is injured, the parents must bring the lawsuit. On the infant’s behalf, the parents may ask for general and special damages. General damages include suffering such as mental or physical pain. For example, if a doctor doesn’t use reasonable care and carelessly decides to deliver the baby prematurely, the baby could suffer brain damage. The parents may bring a lawsuit to cover the developmental needs of the baby as well as damages for pain and suffering. The baby will most likely experience ongoing physical and mental disability due to the brain damage suffered.
Injuries to the Mother
The mother may bring a claim for medical malpractice if the physician’s neglect causes her injury prior to or during the birth of her child. For instance, if the doctor does not note the mother’s high blood pressure prior to delivery, a sign of preeclampsia, and the mother suffers a seizure during delivery, the mother very possibly has a claim for medical malpractice and may recover damages for the injuries caused by the seizure.
Emotional Suffering of Parents
Parents may also be able to bring a lawsuit for the emotional pain and suffering experienced as a result of their injured.
Cerebral palsy is a medical term for a number of neurological disorders that effect body movement and the coordination of muscles. A variety of factors can cause cerebral palsy, but when it involves birth injuries and medical malpractice, cerebral palsy cases are often the result of an insufficient oxygen supply reaching the infant’s brain during labor and birth.
When medical malpractice is linked to a child’s development of cerebral palsy, come of the common causes include:
- Failure to detect and/or properly treat infections in the mother during pregnancy.
- Failure to appropriately monitor fetal heart rate before and during labor and birth.
- Failure to detect a prolapsed umbilical cord.
- Failure to plan and schedule a cesarean section when a baby is too large to safely pass through the birth canal.
- Failure to perform, or delay performing, a medically necessary cesarean section.
- Negligence and unreasonable mistakes in using instruments, such as a vacuum or forceps, during delivery.
Getting Help for Malpractice Birth Injuries
Medical malpractice involving birth injuries and delivery mistakes are very complex both legally and medically. Because of this, it is extremely important to get representation from a highly experienced personal injury attorney.
In Missouri call 314-862-7805
In Illinois call 618-825-0188