Birth Injury

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Many families trust their doctors to facilitate the healthy birth of their child. While many doctors follow safe and healthy birthing guidelines, some act negligently and cause life-altering and irreparable damage to the children that they are delivering. When these babies are victimized, their families have to pay for any additional medical support they may need. A child may require multiple surgeries, therapies, or medications to lessen the damage due to medical negligence.

While birth injury rates have fluctuated over the decades, with improved medical tools like forceps and vacuums, the probability of injuring the baby is much higher today. Many parents have filed lawsuits against hospitals, doctors, or any other liable party for their child’s injuries during birth.

Families of children that have been affected by negligent doctors during birth will need an experienced medical malpractice lawyer for legal representation. Broughton Partners works to connect professional law firms with potential plaintiffs who meet the case criteria.

What are birth injuries?

Birth injuries are physical injuries caused during the birthing and delivery process. Sometimes birth injuries are unavoidable, but it is estimated that around 28,000 birth injuries that occur every year are avoidable and could result from a doctor’s negligence. This negligence is not limited to the actual birthing process; it could happen while the baby is still in utero. 

For example, medical negligence could appear in the form of prescribing a pregnant mother an unsafe medication during pregnancy. Many birth injuries are minor and won’t require any future medical attention in order to fix them. However, some birth injuries can cause permanent damage to the child or change the way they are able to approach life. 

While many birth injuries seem apparent, some of them go unnoticed for the first few years of a child’s life. Many new parents don’t know what to expect when they bring their first child home and may fail to notice irregularities in their behavior. New parents may want to keep track of important age-related milestones.

Negligent Doctors Cause Life-altering Birth Injuries

Seven out of every one thousand children born in the United States will sustain long-term birth injuries at the hands of a negligent doctor.

Common Birth Injuries

  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
  • Broken Bones
  • Cephalohematoma
  • Caput succedaneum
  • Intracranial hemorrhaging
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhaging
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Cerebral palsy

Doctor Negligence During Pregnancy

  • Not performing necessary specialized tests on the baby during pregnancy.
  • Failing to treat or diagnose any infection, placental abruption, umbilical cord entrapment, or any other issue when the baby is in utero.
  • Not referring a high-risk patient to a specialist.
  • Neglecting to address or follow up with any changes with the fetus.
  • Not performing appropriate prenatal testing.

Doctor Negligence During Birth

  • Not using Pitocin, a labor-inducing drug, when it was needed.
  • Failing to detect any fetal distress during delivery.
  • Refusing to order a Cesarean section (C-section) when needed.
  • Being too aggressive with birthing tools like forceps or vacuums.
  • Using dated or inappropriate methods to get the baby out.
  • Neglecting to look the baby over after delivery to ensure that the child isn’t suffering from any illnesses or injuries.
  • Failing to communicate any issues the patient has to other doctors helping during the birthing process.

Birth Injury Lawsuit

Many parents have sought attorneys in order to receive compensation for their child’s severe birth injuries. 

In one case, a mother filed a lawsuit claiming that the doctors were negligent during her delivery process. The doctors failed to respond to the baby’s distress that was present on the monitors while this mother was trying to deliver her son. Once the baby was delivered, they failed to allow him to cool off, which caused him irreparable brain damage. Her son was born with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which means that his brain did not receive enough oxygen or blood flow. 

Additionally, he was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which means that he has difficulty controlling the muscles in his arms and legs. The mother believed that, had the doctors been better at monitoring her son and ensuring his safety, her son would not have the long-term birth injuries that he had. The mother ended up filing a lawsuit against those responsible and received 5.45 million dollars, which will go to paying off her son’s past medical bills and ensuring that she can get him the help that he needs in the future. 

1987

The state of Virginia implemented the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act, which removed birth-related malpractice lawsuits from the court system. This act sought to settle any malpractice case outside of court.

1988

Florida establishes the Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA). This organization uses money to help children affected by neurological birth-related injuries.

1994-1997

It was found that 7-15 children out of every 1,000 suffered birth-related injuries between these few years.

2000

The number of birth-related injuries fell from 7-15 of every 1,000 in the previous years to 7 out of every 1,000.

2006

Statistics show that over 150,000 injuries to babies and mothers during childbirth could have easily been avoided.

2014

Doctors neglected to perform a C-section on a mother who could no longer feel her baby. The baby was born with severe brain damage that requires constant care and attention. The family filed a lawsuit and won 50 million dollars in order to care for their son.

2019

An army mother whose son was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy claimed that it was due to her doctor’s negligence. She sued the US government, the hospital, and her obstetrician. The mother was later awarded 10.2 million dollars for the damages caused to her and her son during his birth.

February 2021

Years prior, a mother sued Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for handling her pregnancy negligently and causing her daughter to sustain life-long brain damage. She won 205 million dollars, and in February, the verdict for her case was overturned.

References

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