Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice Claims
There is never a time in a person’s life that he or she is more vulnerable than at birth. It is a time when a child’s future is molded and a parent’s journey and obligations begin. It is also a time when birth injuries can occur, setting a difficult course for both parent and child.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury can be defined as any harm that happens to a mother or child before, during, or immediately after delivery. In certain cases, harm that occurs to the child during pregnancy, when the baby is in utero and the mother is under the care of an obstetrician, can result in birth injuries. For example, if an obstetrician fails to diagnose and treat a mother’s folic acid deficiency during pregnancy, this can cause her baby to develop any number of health problems, including birth defects such as spina bifida.
Tragically, it has been estimated that negligent medical care is responsible for as much as 50% of birth injuries.
Common Birth Injuries That Parents Should Be Aware Of
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following are the most commonly occurring birth injuries in the United States:
- Broken bones
- Brachial plexus injuries – Damage to a bundle of nerves that affects the neck, shoulder, arm, and hand
- Prenatal asphyxia – Occurring when the baby doesn’t get enough oxygen during birth
- Cerebral palsy – Damage or malformation to the brain’s motor function section
- Facial paralysis – Caused by nerve damage during birthing process
- Cephalohematoma – A collection of blood beneath the scalp
- Caput succedaneum – Swelling of the scalp
- Intracranial hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage – Bleeding within the skull
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage – Bursting of blood vessels in the eyes
- Spinal cord injuries
Though not all of these birth injuries cause permanent damage to a child, many of them can cause lifelong disabilities and even death.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
The following are some common, preventable causes of birth injuries that can be considered medical malpractice:
- Failure to manipulate the baby’s body properly during birth (a common cause of bone fractures and brachial plexus injuries)
- Failure to monitor the mother and baby’s oxygen during labor and delivery
- Failure to use birthing tools, such as forceps and suction devices, in a proper manner
- Failure to perform a Cesarean section (C-section) in a timely manner when necessary
- Failure to diagnose and treat complications that arise during the birthing process
- Failure to monitor potential hemorrhaging issues during the birthing process
- Failure to maintain a sanitary birthing environment
Seek the Guidance of an Experienced Birth Injury Attorney
Physicians and medical facilities carry medical malpractice insurance so that they can compensate patients who are injured by these types of errors. However, these policies are typically held by large insurance companies that are backed by powerful law firms. Therefore, if you believe that you or someone you love has been victimized by medical malpractice, it is essential that you enlist the services of an experienced birth injury attorney in order to get the compensation that your family needs to move forward. The legal team at the Orlando law offices of Faiella & Gulden, P.A., has been successfully representing Florida birth injury victims and their families for almost 40 years. Let us put our experience to work on your claim by calling (407) 647-6111 for a free consultation.
We require no legal retainer or upfront fees, and you pay nothing unless we prevail. Call us for your free consultation.