Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Birth Injury May Result in Medical Malpractice Claim

Childbirth, including pregnancy, labor and deliver, is a complex process during which complications can arise. If not diagnosed immediately and treated correctly, these complications can lead to serious and permanent injuries, and even fatality, to a newborn.

Some of the most frequently occurring birth injuries include:

- Cerebral palsy,
- Brachial plexus (also referred to as Erb's palsy),
- Fracture of the collarbone or skull,
- Facial paralysis,
- Seizure disorders, and
- Mental impairment.

Other problems that may be experienced by a newborn include premature birth, or having a disease transferred from the mother, including Group B Strep and HIV. Another category of problems include birth defects which are caused by genetic abnormalities, infections, or sometimes even certain medications taken by the mother, and which are not detected at a time when the parents can choose to terminate the pregnancy.

If the birth injury to the newborn is due to care by a doctor or nurse that falls below the acceptable standard of care, a claim for birth injury medical malpractice may result. Among the most common types of errors committed by doctors and nurses leading to birth injuries and preventable birth defects include:

- failure to perform adequate prenatal testing
- failure to properly monitor the pregnancy
- failure to take the weight or size of the child into account prior to labor and delivery
- not responding to excessive bleeding during the pregnancy
- failure to recognize and/or immediately act on signs of fetal distress
- improper use of forceps or suction device
- applying the wrong technique during delivery
- prescribing the wrong medication or not prescribing a necessary medication

The effects of a birth injury or birth defect can be devastating. In some cases, the child is left with a permanent injury or defect that will require life-long medical care and support services. The cost of this care can cause financial hardship for the family. And such situations take a large emotional toll.

If your baby suffered a birth injury and you believe it was the result of an error by a doctor or a nurse, you need to contact a lawyer immediately.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal (or medical) advice. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based upon any information at this web site without seeking professional legal counsel. A competent lawyer with experience in medical malpractice can assist you in determining whether you may have a claim for birth injury medical malpractice. There is a time limit in cases like these so do not wait to call.

Joseph Hernandez is an Attorney focused on complex injury cases, including Medical Malpractice cases. You can learn more about Birth Injury and Medical Malpractice Cases at his website.

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