Birth Injury FAQs
Bringing a new baby into the world is a lot of things, but it should never be tragic. When errors are made during a woman’s pregnancy or during labor, the resulting birth injury can disrupt multiple lives for years to come. Fortunately, the at-fault parties responsible for these kinds of devastating errors can be held responsible for their actions.
What is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is a type of physical injury experienced during childbirth and can affect the health of the baby or the mother. Birth injuries can range in type and severity, but the most common sites are the head, neck, and shoulders. Common injuries include:
- Caput succedaneum, which is a type of scalp swelling caused by excessive pressure from the birth canal;
- Skull fractures, which are typically the result of instrumented vaginal delivery;
- Extra and intracranial hemorrhages, which occur when the blood vessels rupture, causing a collection of blood inside the skull and increased swelling and could be the result of a failure to perform an emergency cesarean section;
- Cranial nerve injuries, such as facial nerve damage that results in loss of motion and diminished movement and brachial plexus injuries, which occur when the cervical nerve roots are stretched during delivery as a result of improper handling;
- Clavicle fractures from difficult extractions;
- Ocular injuries, which can present after the use of forceps during delivery; and
- Soft tissue injuries, including lacerations and bruising from prolonged birth or the improper use of birth instruments.
Unfortunately, these injuries are often preventable and are the result of physician negligence at the time of a child’s birth, either due to a failure to monitor a mother’s condition, or the improper use of forceps and vacuums.
Who is Responsible for the Injury?
Liability for a birth injury will depend on the facts of a particular case. It could, for instance, be the mother’s OBGYN, the team that attended while a woman gave birth, or the doctor who was placed in charge of the mother and child’s recovery. Actions that could result in a medical professional being held liable for a birth injury include:
- Failing to conduct the right tests during pregnancy;
- Failing to monitor a mother or baby’s vitals during delivery;
- Prescribing the wrong medications during pregnancy;
- Failing to perform an emergency cesarean section; and
- Using the wrong tools or methods during delivery.
While no amount of money can reverse the physical injuries that a mother or her child suffered because of a medical error, recovering compensation can help victims move forward without the financial burdens that so often accompany severe birth injuries. Potentially recoverable damages include reimbursement for hospital bills, in-home care, ongoing therapies and medications, as well as compensation for lost income, emotional distress, and pain and suffering.
Reach Out to Our Legal Team for Help
If you or your child suffered a birth injury because of a medical error, you could be entitled to damages. To learn more, please contact the dedicated Fort Lauderdale medical malpractice lawyers at Boone & Davis today. You can reach us by calling 954-566-9919, or by sending us an online message.