Though not every birth injury results from medical negligence, some do. If you suspect that a birth injury is related to negligence, find a lawyer familiar with these types of medical negligence cases. Below are examples of birth injuries and how negligence may have been a factor.
Cerebral palsy is a condition that covers neurological conditions that impair muscle coordination and body movement. It is not always the result of a birth injury, but if the child suffered from a lack of oxygen during labor and delivery, it may have contributed to the child’s condition. This might be the case if the doctors failed to monitor fetal heartbeat or other vital signs during labor and delivery. If physicians fail to take action in the event of oxygen deprivation, it could lead to brain damage, which might cause cerebral palsy.
A birth injury lawyer can evaluate the circumstances of the case and help collect necessary evidence if medical negligence may be to blame for the child’s cerebral palsy. This may entail working with a medical expert witness who can testify if the physicians violated a standard of care regarding fetal monitoring during labor and delivery.
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Cephalohematoma is a birth injury that means a collection of blood exists between the periosteum and the skull. It might be related to improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction. There may be a higher risk of jaundice in children with cephalohematoma. It often goes away on its own, however, without causing serious problems.
If it does cause serious problems, though, such as a result of mismanagement of the condition, then parents may pursue compensation from the negligent medical professionals responsible for the child’s condition.
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During a complicated delivery or a C-section, a baby may suffer undue force and pressure from the doctor’s hands and/or other instruments. For example, some children are born with broken collarbones (clavicle) due to undue force during delivery. The femur (thigh bone) and humerus (upper arm bone) may be affected, too.
Newborns cannot convey that they are suffering pain related to a broken bone, so if your child is unable to move part of his or her body or you notice other indicators that the baby suffered an injury, inform your doctor right away to ensure proper treatment. If a doctor is responsible for the injury, you may recover compensation for the injury.
Establishing Medical Negligence in Birth Injury Cases
As noted above, not all birth injuries are related to medical negligence. Parents who believe their child’s birth injury is related to a doctor’s negligent acts must establish that the doctor violated the standard of care – that is, whether their actions differ from those of other reasonable physicians in similar situations.
So if a doctor had to use more force than normal when delivering the child, if other reasonable physicians would not have used that force, then the doctor may be negligent. If the force was necessary to deliver the child safely, though, then the doctor may not be negligent.
Talk to an attorney about the level of care you and your child received during the labor and delivery process and whether medical negligence may be related to your child’s birth injury. Call Chalik & Chalik to if you’re in Homestead or nearby. The first evaluation is free: 855-971-1701.