Medical Negligence Can Cause Birth Injuries
Birth is dangerous for both the mother and baby. But when a child suffers an injury at birth it is important to look at the circumstance of the birth and ensure that the doctor and delivery team provided the best standard of care during the delivery. Under Florida’s medical malpractice statutes, if a child suffers an injury at birth and the medical care provided fell below the standard of expected care, then it is possible the parents may want to pursue a medical malpractice, or medical negligence, claim.
It is not always possible to avoid injury during a delivery. However, birth injuries caused by medical negligence may result from:
- Improper Forceps Use: A mother may have difficulty delivering her child if the child is not properly positioned. If this happens a doctor may use forceps to help position the child and help the delivery. Using forceps can help reduce the risk of oxygen deprivation and distress. Proper use of forceps can prevent birth injuries; however, improper use can damage a child’s neck, chest or head.
- Improper Vacuum Use: A doctor may use a vacuum when a baby has difficulty escaping the birth canal. Vacuums can be used to suction a baby’s shoulder or skull to help guide the baby out the birth canal. Doctors or other medical personnel are responsible for ensuring the vacuum is properly placed on the baby. When not properly placed, the vacuum can cause severe injuries to the mother and baby.
- Failing to Order a Caesarian: A doctor may order an emergency Cesarean, or C-section, if a baby shows signs of distress. If the doctor and delivery team fail to recognize distress and delay ordering a C-section, they may be responsible for any injuries resulting from that delay.
- Hypoxia: A baby may suffer from hypoxia when its brain does not receive enough oxygen during childbirth. An infection, tangled umbilical cord, or damaged placenta may cause hypoxia. If hypoxia is not properly identified and addressed, a child may suffer mental and physical disabilities. If a doctor fails to notice signs of hypoxia and take action to avoid injury, the doctor and the delivery team may be responsible for any resulting damage.
The following complications during birth might also indicate medical malpractice was a factor that caused your child’s birth injury:
- Improper use of pitocin;
- Failure to perform specialized test during pregnancy;
- Failure to identify and treat infections, placental abruption, umbilical cord entrapment or premature membrane rupture;
- Failure to refer high-risk patients to specialist;
- Failure to identify changes in the fetus’ condition; and
- Failure to order pre-natal testing.
Contact an Attorney
Birth injuries can be caused by a number of factors and it is not always possible to avoid injury. However, if you believe your baby was injured at birth due to a doctor’s or nurse’s carelessness, then you should contact the Miami birth injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. We can discuss the circumstances of your child’s birth and guide you through the medical malpractice claim process. Please contact us today at 877.371.3111 to discuss how we can help you.