Birth Injury Immediately Before, During or After Delivery In Malpractice Cases
Between 1% and 2% of all deliveries involve some form of birth injury. Typically, the most devastating form of birth injury occurs when a child suffers brain damage, typically from oxygen deprivation. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (or HIE) is a condition of the brain that occurs when the brain does not get enough oxygen. This can occur in a variety of ways, including from fetal distress while the baby is still in utero or after delivery during troubled neonatal resuscitation attempts. The damages from HIE can be profound. Whether a child’s brain damage during birth is from medical malpractice is often a difficulty question, as it often involves highly complicated medical concepts and theories.
Physical injuries can also occur to babies during delivery. One of the more common physical injuries to a baby during birth is to their shoulder or clavicle. Shoulder injuries during birth are often classified as brachial plexus or shoulder dystocia injuries. These injuries occur during vaginal deliveries where the baby’s shoulder gets trapped or otherwise injured while the baby attempts to pass through the birth canal. Birth injuries to a baby's shoulder are often preventable. If the physician should have realized the risk of injury to a baby is high from a vaginal delivery, the standard of care may require the physician to recommend, or at least offer, a cesarean section to eliminate the risk to the baby. Failing to have such a conversation can constitute medical malpractice.
Another type of physical injury that can occur to baby during delivery is to theri scalp. These can occur during vaginal deliveries, such as with the use of forceps, a vacuum extractor or simply a prolonged engagement of the baby’s head in the birth canal. Great care must be taken to protect a baby head from injury during birth. Failing to do so may be medical malpractice.
If you suspect a child has suffered a birth injury from medical malpractice, it is critically important to contact a lawyer skilled in handling birth injury cases. The birth injury lawyers at Kroot Law have prosecuted numerous birth injury cases. For further information, we invite you to contact our law office for a free consultation.