A child may suffer injury due to the natural traumas of birth such as the pressure of the mother’s contractions or the fetus’s passage through the narrow birth canal. Umbilical cord prolapse or compression, nuchal cord, problems with the placenta, and breech presentation are just a few of the complications that may occur during a child’s birth and that may result in a birth injury to the child if not timely diagnosed and properly managed. When a birth injury is caused by the negligence of an obstetrician or other medical professional during a mother’s pregnancy or the labor and delivery stages of childbirth, the negligent medical professionals, and in some cases, the hospital or clinic that employs them, may be found liable in a medical malpractice action for the damages suffered by the child as a result of his or her birth injury.
If your child sustained a birth injury of any kind and you have reason to suspect that your child’s injury was caused by medical negligence during your pregnancy or labor, or the delivery of your child, you may be entitled to compensation for your child’s injuries through legal action. The Killino Firm’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, birth injury/birth trauma attorneys have considerable expertise and experience with birth injury cases and will help you obtain the compensation you deserve from all those responsible for your child’s suffering. Contact The Killino Firm at (215) 569-1299 for a free evaluation of your case and more information about your legal options.
Legal Liability for Negligently Caused Birth Injuries
The negligence of physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals during a woman’s pregnancy can lead to complications during her child’s birth that result in birth injuries to the child. Negligence during the mother’s labor and the delivery of her child may also result in birth injuries that could have been prevented with proper medical care.
Negligent Medical Care during Pregnancy
Any number of conditions that develop in a woman during her pregnancy or complications that arise with the fetus before the fetus reaches full term can result in birth injuries, if these conditions and complications are not properly diagnosed and managed. A problem with the mother’s placenta or nuchal cord (the wrapping of the umbilical cord around the fetus’s neck) may occur during a woman’s pregnancy, for example, and require prompt diagnosis and treatment to prevent serious injury to the fetus. Such negligently caused birth injuries (and others) may result from the failure of medical personnel who are providing medical care to a woman during her pregnancy to adequately monitor the health of mother and fetus, both of whom are patients of an obstetrician during the mother’s pregnancy.
Other examples of medical negligence during a woman’s pregnancy that can lead to subsequent birth injuries in her child include the failure to diagnose and adequately manage a mother’s diabetes, weight gain, or pre-eclampsia. The failure to timely diagnose and handle placental abruption, a pregnancy complication involving the separation of the placenta from the uterus, can also lead to serious injury of a fetus.
The medical personnel responsible for birth injuries caused by the negligence of such medical personnel during a woman’s pregnancy may be held liable for such injuries in a medical malpractice action. In addition, the clinics or other healthcare organizations or groups that employ these medical personnel may also be found liable for the birth injuries caused by the negligence of such personnel.
Negligent Medical Care during Labor and Delivery
Many birth injuries can be caused by medical negligence during a woman’s labor and the delivery of her child. Complications that result in a cutting off of oxygen to the fetus must be timely detected and properly handled to avoid serious injury to a fetus, including cerebral palsy (CP) or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) injuries. Regular monitoring of the condition and vital signs of the mother and fetus is required to diagnose such complications, so that a failure to do so may result in liability on the part of medical professionals assisting in the birth of the child.
Birth injuries may also result from the negligent handling of a fetus’s breech presentation. If a Caesarean section (C-section) is indicated as a result of a breech presentation, for example, and is not timely ordered or timely and adequately performed, the responsible physician and/or surgeon may be found liable in a medical malpractice for birth injuries caused to the child by an inadvisable vaginal delivery or the negligent performance of a C-section delivery.
Improper use of forceps or vacuum and other delivery assistance devices can also lead to birth injuries in a child, including injuries to the brain. Negligent pulling or stretching of a baby’s neck to further a difficult delivery can lead to Erb’s palsy or other brachial plexus palsy injuries.
The physicians, surgeons, nurses, and other medical professionals who assist in the labor and delivery stages of a child’s birth and negligently cause a birth injury to that child may be found liable in a medical malpractice action for the injuries caused by their negligence. The hospitals that employ such medical professionals may also be found indirectly and/or directly liable for the birth injuries caused by the negligence of their employees.
If your child sustained a birth injury and you suspect that your child’s injury was due to medical negligence during your pregnancy or the labor and delivery stages of your child’s birth, The Killino Firm’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, birth injury/birth trauma personal injury attorneys can help you obtain the compensation to which you and your family are entitled. Contact us at (215) 569-1299 for expert and experienced assistance with your child’s birth injury/birth trauma case.