Sometimes injuries occur to the mother or her unborn baby, during the labor or delivery process. In some cases, the harm is unavoidable. On the other hand, in a few circumstances, the doctor chooses an inappropriate treatment course or failed to employ proper skills before or during the delivery. In this post, let’s focus on preventable injuries during childbirth and how childbirth medical malpractice case looks like.
Preventable injuries during normal childbirth
- Caput Succedaneum – During a prolonged head-first circumstance, the pressure is on the head of the baby, which causes the scalp to swell. Even a vacuum extraction process can cause visual bruising and swelling. The condition is temporary and declines in a few days post-delivery.
- Cephalohematoma – Vacuum extraction causes blood to collect between cranial bone and skin of the unborn child causing a condition called cephalohematoma. It is a sign of jaundice, which vanishes in a few weeks.
- Erb’s Palsy – If a baby’s shoulder or neck gets stretched far during the delivery it triggers nerve damage called Brachial plexus birth palsy or Erb’s palsy. Near the neck, there are nerve clusters that get injured. It causes loss of motion, numbness, and weakness in the newborn baby’s arms. Many newborns recover their movement and feeling in the affected arm, but some cases are severe. If there is no or little improvement within 6 months, then the baby may need surgery or physical therapy.
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy – HIE occurs when the brain of the baby lacks oxygen. The brain cells get damaged. If the condition does not decline the baby can undergo developmental issues, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and death.
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage – Due to different pressure on the tiny body of the baby, during delivery small blood vessels in the eye rupture. On the white, a small red patch appears. It gets resolved within a couple of weeks without any intervention.
- Birth fractures – During a deliver the collarbone fractures, which could be avoided if the doctor could identify the possible complications and done a C-section deliver.
When do injuries during delivery lead to childbirth medical malpractice?
During the delivery process, there are two possibilities – the doctor was in action or not in action. It is not easy to prove a childbirth medical malpractice with the delivery injuries to the mother or/and the baby.
- You will need to establish proper care level under the circumstances called the Medical Standard of Care.
- You will need to show how the doctor breached or fell short of the specific care standard.
Proving medical negligence requires the expert review and assistance of an uniquely qualified law firm like Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP. Some situations are risky and need a quick response. For example, if the gynecologist fails to identify the fatal distress signs, which makes it necessary to perform a timely C-section procedure then this is valid medical malpractice if the baby gets injured.
There are some prenatal indicators like placenta previa, placenta abruption, and pre-eclampsia that needs C-section. In these conditions, normal childbirth is impossible or dangerous. These are identifiable conditions that if missed or delayed can lead to childbirth medical malpractice claims.
If you or your baby is injured during the delivery process either normal or C-section, consult an experienced childbirth medical malpractice attorney to discuss the validity of your case and take action.