Nothing is more devastating to parents to discover that the newborn child they have been anticipating for nine months suffers a severe or fatal birth injury.
Birth injuries can occur before, during, and after delivery. Recent statistics reveal that of the 1,000 babies delivered in the U.S., 6.6 of them suffer a birth injury. Birth injury stats from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cite four out of 10,000 spontaneous vaginal deliveries involve children with birth injuries.
When trusted professionals fall short
The tragedy of birth injuries is that many are entirely avoidable, with countless cases of medical malpractice or errors playing a significant role when professionals fail to do the following:
- Failing to anticipate complications during the birth
- Take care of maternal infections and other health conditions during pregnancy
- Report any level of fetal distress at the time of delivery ranging from oxygen deprivation or abnormal heart rates
- Proactive responses to material/fetal bleeding
- Improper use of equipment, including forceps and vacuum extractors
- Ordering a medically unnecessary cesarean (C) section
More severe and potentially disabling problems can occur as well and include:
- Brachial Plexus injury that results in shoulder dystocia leading to weakness and immobility
- Cerebral Palsy (CP) through poor management of the umbilical cord, placenta, or uterine rupture, reducing functions and resulting in a lifetime of disability
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) results in brain dysfunction caused by a lack of blood flow or oxygen that can lead to various cognitive impairments
- Spinal cord injuries, particularly in the neck, are far too common in newborns that lead to reduced sensation, spasms, and overall weakness
- Bone fractures, with the collar bone being the most common, resulting in dystocia or breech births
Suspecting a birth injury could be the first step toward calling for an investigation. The complexities and challenges require help from a skilled, experienced attorney and successfully pursuing medical malpractice lawsuits following a tragic and heartbreaking event.
Holding negligent medical professionals accountable is essential to justice and sends a message to negligent healthcare providers.