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3 ways that medical professionals may cause birth injuries

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Medical Malpractice

Women tend to seek out professional medical support during labor and delivery for their own safety. They rely on the guidance and support of medical professionals to take some of the risk out of the birth process.

Generally speaking, medical professionals have the ability to identify concerning warning signs of issues during labor and the tools necessary to take action to protect both mother and child. Women and their partners generally expect to have better obstetric outcomes when they have a physician attending to them. Unfortunately, that isn’t necessarily what happens. Sometimes healthcare professionals make significant mistakes that cause birth injuries. The following are some of the most common reasons that healthcare providers might be to blame for a birth injury.

Failing to take appropriate action

Birth is largely a natural process that progresses on its own in most circumstances. However, there are scenarios in which the efforts of medical professionals might be the only way to protect both the mother and her unborn child from an adverse outcome. Fetal heart rate monitoring and regular interactions with the mother are typically necessary to monitor the progress of labor. Without proper monitoring, healthcare providers may miss the signs of distress in an unborn child. Their failure to intervene in a timely fashion could potentially contribute to injuries related to fetal distress during labor, like cerebral palsy.

Choosing the wrong interventions

There are numerous types of medical support that labor and delivery professionals can offer in a hospital or birth center. Sometimes, physicians choose the wrong types of medical support. They might give a patient a medication that isn’t appropriate for use during labor or choose an intervention that is too aggressive given the circumstances. The choices that doctors make can end up worsening the situation and causing serious injuries to the mother or her unborn child.

Improperly administering interventions

Even if a doctor chooses the right intervention and knows when they need to react, they could still make a mistake in the process of assisting the birth. For example, a doctor using forceps to assist delivery could potentially cause injuries to an infant’s neck or eyes. Those injuries could have significant medical implications for the child and major costs for the family.

When birth injuries are the result of a medical professional’s mistakes or negligence, the incident may constitute medical malpractice. Filing a malpractice lawsuit could help families cover the costs created by a birth injury under such circumstances.