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London Personal Injury Attorneys > Blog > Medical Malpractice > Medical Negligence: Birth Injuries

Medical Negligence: Birth Injuries


Medical negligence, also called medical malpractice, arises when a healthcare provider breaches the acceptable standard of care and causes harm to a patient. Unfortunately, medical negligence remains a huge problem in the United States of America. While most healthcare providers strive to provide the best treatment and care to patients, instances of medical negligence occur and can have devastating consequences for patients and their families.

Medical negligence does not only affect adults. It also affects children. Unfortunately, when a birth injury occurs, it can have significant and lasting effects on the child and the family.

What Is a Birth Injury?

A birth injury can occur during the labor or delivery process. There are different types of birth injuries that differ in severity. Some birth injuries might heal after a short while, and some might require continuous treatment throughout the child’s life. Some birth injuries can be life-altering.

It is crucial to note that there is a major difference between a birth injury and a birth defect. While birth defects are functional or structural abnormalities present at birth, birth injuries occur during the labor or delivery process due to complications or physical trauma.

What Is Birth Injury Medical Negligence?

When a medical professional, such as a doctor or nurse, fails to meet the acceptable standard of care during labor or delivery and causes complications during birth, birth injury medical negligence is said to have occurred. The following are some examples of actions that constitute birth injury medical negligence;

  • Failure to detect fetal distress
  • Failure to perform a medically necessary cesarean section (C-section)
  • Failure to perform a timely C-section
  • Failure to address maternal infections
  • Failure to monitor the baby’s vital signs
  • Administering the wrong medication
  • Improper use of birthing tools
  • Exerting too much force on the baby during delivery

Types of Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Negligence

Medical negligence during the labor or delivery process can result in various birth injuries. Birth injuries can affect different parts of the child’s body and can vary in severity. The following are some of the common types of birth injuries;

  • Brachial plexus injuries (Erb’s palsy): These injuries occur when the nerves that send signals from the spine to the shoulders, arms, and hands suffer damage.
  • Brain injury: A brain injury occurs when brain cells are destroyed or damaged. The brain can become damaged from infections, lack of oxygen, buildup of bilirubin, and physical head injuries.
  • Cerebral palsy: This disorder can occur from brain damage.
  • Spinal cord injuries: These injuries can lead to paralysis or neurological impairment.
  • Facial paralysis: Pressure on a baby’s face during delivery can result in facial nerve damage, leading to facial paralysis.
  • Birth asphyxia: This injury occurs from a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during childbirth
  • Caput succedaneum: This condition occurs by prolonged pressure being exerted on an infant’s head during delivery. Use of forceps can cause caput succedaneum.
  • Bone fractures: If forceps or vacuum extractors are used, bone fractures can occur.

You Have Legal Rights

Medical professionals are obligated to provide quality medical care to mothers. A medical professional who acts negligently and causes a birth injury can be held liable. When a child suffers a birth injury due to medical negligence, the family can pursue financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Contact Us for Legal Help

If you believe your child suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, our London medical malpractice attorneys at Cessna & George Law Firm are here for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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