When you find out you are expecting a child, you may feel tremendous excitement and joy. You’ve always dreamed of being a mother and now that dream will come true. In the months before your baby is born, you spend a lot of time preparing for your little one’s arrival. You get a nursery ready, read many books about childbirth and caring for newborn, and try to pick a name for your child.
However, you may not think much about if something goes wrong when having your child. Your child could suffer a serious birth injury, impacting their long-term quality of life. Each year in the United States, about 28,000 babies are born with a birth injury. Unfortunately, recent birth injury statistics show a growing trend of birth injuries occurring as a result of medical negligence.
Birth injuries and medical negligence
Birth injuries caused by medical negligence can happen when a healthcare provider:
- Fails to recognize or address fetal distress
- Uses vacuum extractors or forceps incorrectly
- Uses excessive force during a delivery
- Fails to perform a C-section when necessary
- Allows an infant to experience lack of oxygen for too long
- Administers dangerous medications or administers the wrong dosage of medications
- Fails to provide proper post-birth care
Serious birth injuries
Some of the most serious birth injuries that can occur as a result of medical malpractice include:
- Skull and bone fractures
- Cerebral palsy
- Permanent brain damage from oxygen deprivation
- Brachial Plexus injuries and Erb’s Palsy (where nerves are damaged that affect movement in arms and hands)
- Other nerve injuries
Getting legal help if your child suffers a birth injury
If your child suffers a birth injury, one in which you believe medical negligence played a role in causing the injury, you should consult a medical malpractice attorney. If your child’s birth injury will impact them for the rest of their life, you can receive compensation to help pay for their care. Even if their birth injury is somewhat temporary, you still could receive damages because of a doctor’s negligence.
As your child’s parent, you have to advocate for them and their health. Holding a healthcare professional accountable if your child suffers a preventable birth injury is part of doing that.