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Birth Injuries and Complications Caused by Medical Malpractice

Birth Injuries and Complications Caused by Medical Malpractice

by | Feb 6, 2023 | Personal Injury

Birth Injuries and Complications Caused by Medical Malpractice

Babies are vulnerable to many forms of serious illness and injury during pregnancy and labor, as well as immediately following their birth. In the United States, nearly 30,000 babies are born with a birth injury each year. The type and severity range, but regardless of the specifics of the injury, the fear that parents feel and the potential for long-term consequences are significant.

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals hold a great deal of responsibility for the care of both mother and baby. If they fail to uphold this duty of care, they could be guilty of medical malpractice. Even the slightest mistake can cause catastrophic damage to the fragile health of an unborn or newborn baby. If your baby suffered preventable injury or illness due to a medical professional’s negligence, Michael D. Payne has the experience and knowledge you need in your medical malpractice claim. Mr. Payne, a CNN-featured legal expert, fights passionately for his clients so they can obtain the compensation they deserve. Contact us if we can help

Types of Birth Injuries

Shoulder Dystocia: This occurs when a baby’s shoulders become stuck in the birth canal. Shoulder dystocia is considered a medical emergency, and immediate intervention is required. Without swift action, shoulder dystocia can lead to complications like paralysis or death.

Brain Damage: Many things can cause brain damage due to a baby’s fragility. Incorrect use of forceps and vacuum-assisted delivery can cause skull and brain injuries, leading to physical and mental disabilities.

Group B Strep: This type of infection can be passed from the mother to the child during labor and delivery. If doctors do not diagnose and treat group B Streptococcal infection immediately following birth, a baby’s survival rate can drop significantly.

Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is caused by a lack of oxygen during birth, which may be caused by problems with the umbilical cord. Symptoms of cerebral palsy include uncontrolled muscle movements, muscle stiffness, and speech difficulties, among many others.

Cesarean Section: A cesarean section, or C-section, is a surgical method for delivering a baby. It is usually used only in emergency situations when the life of the mother or child is at risk, but the nature of this procedure can also lead to complications and injuries. Doctors are responsible for ensuring a C-section is the safest and most appropriate method of delivery in order to avoid the added dangers that this surgery brings.

Erb’s Palsy: Erb’s palsy is a condition that involves nerve damage and can occur when a baby’s shoulders become lodged in the birth canal. Doctors must assess the size of the baby and determine if the mother will be able to give birth safely. Any injuries that occur as a result of failing to make this determination could be medical malpractice.

Drug Administration: Prescribing medications during pregnancy requires a delicate balance of considering the health of the mother and the effect the medicines will have on the unborn baby. Drugs that could be harmful to a developing fetus should not be prescribed; otherwise, a doctor could be found negligent and be held responsible for any related birth injury.

Maternal Injury: Babies are not the only ones at risk when a doctor or nurse is negligent in their duties. Many birth injuries impact the mother as well as the baby. C-sections are a common example, as this is a surgical procedure that is often traumatic both physically and emotionally for a mother. Therefore, doctors must avoid all unnecessary risks and reduce other risks to the greatest extent possible.

Premature Birth – Any baby born prior to the 37th week of gestation is considered premature. These babies are at a much higher risk of complications, including congenital disabilities, developmental delays, and other long-term health complications. Medical professionals are responsible not just for the proper care of premature babies after they’re born but also for taking appropriate steps to prevent early delivery.

Rh Incompatibility – This is a condition that occurs when a pregnant woman and her unborn baby have a specific type of incompatible blood. Babies may develop jaundice or brain damage if doctors do not recognize this condition in time.

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Medical Duty of Care and Malpractice

Your and your baby’s medical providers are responsible for providing a certain level of care. This can include recommending vitamins, prescribing medications, performing check-ups, completing necessary screenings, and delivering your baby. A lapse in any of these crucial steps can lead to problems with your baby’s health and development. If a medical professional made a mistake, either actively or passively, they could be guilty of medical malpractice.

It is difficult to think about a lifelong disability or condition being preventable, but some examples of possible causes of birth injuries include:

  • Failing to recognize warning signs of complications
  • Not correctly monitoring fetal and mother health
  • Using excessive force during delivery
  • Pulling an infant’s arm forcefully
  • Not treating maternal health problems like preeclampsia
  • Failure to treat newborn issues like jaundice
  • Delaying a cesarean section for too long

Not all cases of medical negligence are easy to detect or identify; in fact, this type of claim can be challenging to prove. One important aspect of a malpractice claim is proving that, in the same situation, another medical professional would have acted differently. This shows that a generally accepted standard of care was not upheld by your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare providers.

If you need a caring, diligent, and knowledgeable attorney to advocate for you and your baby during this time of need, the Law Offices of Michael D. Payne have helped many medical malpractice clients throughout Orange County and Los Angeles. You will not be responsible for any legal fees unless your lawsuit is successful. There is no reason to go through this fight alone. Call 888-964-1530 or visit to schedule a free consultation.