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Can You Sue a Hospital for Traumatic Birth?

Jun 4, 2021 | Medical Malpractice


Sometimes, there is nothing that a medical professional or facility can do to prevent a birth injury. However, when a medical professional fails to act within the standard of care and a child is injured during delivery, that medical professional could be guilty of medical malpractice.

The birth of a child should be one of the happiest moments of your life. Yet tragically, 7 out of every 1,000 babies will suffer a birth injury. Some of these injuries are lifelong ailments, through no fault of their parents.

If you and your baby suffered a traumatic birth due to a medical professional’s missteps, you could sue the hospital for your injuries. We’ll examine some of the most common birth injury situations and how medical malpractice could play a role.

Common Birth Injuries Resulting from Medical Malpractice

Regretfully, children can suffer greatly from a doctor’s or hospital’s medical error during labor and delivery. There are 10 common injuries children can experience due to medical malpractice.

  1. Cerebral palsy: Medical professionals who improperly monitor a laboring woman, fail to notice fetal distress signs, or provide inadequate birth techniques can cause damage to the baby’s brain during birth. This leads to motor skill issues, muscle spasms, and weak muscles.
  2. Facial paralysis: Using forceps or vacuum extraction improperly could lead to facial paralysis.
  3. Oxygen deprivation: Failing to properly monitor an infant during and after birth can lead to brain injuries from oxygen deprivation.
  4. Cephalohematoma: bleeding under the cranial bone can be a result of a forceps delivery. It can lead to many issues for the baby in the early days of life, such as anemia, jaundice, or even meningitis.
  5. Brachial plexus: This is damage to nerves in the spine, neck, arm, shoulder, or hand. It can lead to permanent disability.
  6. Fractured collarbones: These can happen for a variety of reasons, but doctors can also take steps to prevent them. Failing to notice these ailments early can also cause undue pain for the baby and mother.
  7. Perinatal asphyxia: Babies with insufficient oxygen can suffer from this, which can lead to seizures and even a coma.
  8. Caput Succedaneum: Too much pressure on the scalp during delivery or use of forceps can lead to this ailment.
  9. Hemorrhages: Improper application of pressure during labor can lead to hemorrhages and have serious impacts on the baby.
  10. Spinal cord injuries: One of the most serious birth injuries is a spinal cord injury. This often occurs when doctors are too forceful when delivering a baby while using forceps. It can cause paralysis or severe neurological issues.

Medical Malpractice Birth Injuries to the Mother

Babies are not the only ones that can suffer trauma and injuries during birth. Mothers can also become victims of a doctor’s negligence or poor care. For example, missing that a mother is suffering from high blood pressure could lead to seizures during delivery.

Also, when a baby suffers a birth injury, the mother and father could file for emotional injuries due to having to watch their baby suffer.

Traumatic birth can take many forms for both parents and infants. If you or your baby received inadequate care during labor and delivery, you have the option to sue your medical provider or hospital for medical malpractice.

Schedule a free consultation with Stewart & Stewart to learn more about birth injury lawsuits in Indiana.

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