If your child has suffered a birth injury you may be asking yourself and others many difficult questions. What exactly is a birth injury? How did this happen? Why did this happen? How will this affect my child? Was this preventable? Who is at fault?
When a medical professional fails to act with a reasonable standard of care, skill, or judgment, they may be considered negligent and can be held responsible for injury to your child. Birth injuries are traumatic events for any family to experience, especially when the injury could have been prevented.
What is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is damage to a child that, in most cases, is completely preventable. The most common types of preventable birth injuries are caused by:
- Improper use of birth-assisting tools, such as forceps or a vacuum extraction tool
- Pulling and/or twisting the infant improperly during labor and delivery
- Administering the wrong amount or wrong type of medication to the mother during pregnancy and/or during labor and delivery
- Failure to properly monitor the infant for fetal distress, including failure to regularly monitor fetal heartbeat
- Failure to schedule and perform an emergency cesarean surgery (C-section)
- Acceleration and stimulation of the birth
- Birth defects caused by pharmaceutical drug use during pregnancy
Common Birth Injuries
Some common types of birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Skull injuries
- Birth hypoxia or ischemia
- Brachial plexus palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Spinal cord injury
- Klumpke’s paralysis
- Horner’s syndrome
- Bell’s palsy
- Internal organ damage
What Steps to Take After You Discover a Birth Injury
If you suspect that your child has suffered a birth injury due to a medical provider’s negligence or carelessness, it is important that you take steps to protect your legal rights. Begin with gathering information and documenting the incident as best as you can, including:
- Making a list of the contact information for your treating physicians and other medical professionals, including your OB/GYN
- Making a list of the hospitals and medical facilities where you were treated or delivered your child
- Write down the medical procedures that were performed or offered to you, including ultrasounds, measuring of fundal height, etc.
- Create a timeline of all of the events that took place with as many details as you can
- List any prescription medications that you were taking during your pregnancy
- Write down any concerns that you may have had during pregnancy and labor & delivery
Once you have documented everything that you can, your next step is to contact an attorney who specializes in cases like yours. Because birth injuries fall under an extremely complex area of law known as medical malpractice, it is important that you select an attorney with experience and a proven track record winning medical malpractice cases.
We Are Committed to Our Clients
Brown Wharton & Brothers is a dedicated medical malpractice law firm representing victims and their families who have sustained injuries or death in cases involving birth injuries. If you believe that your child suffered a birth-related injury because a doctor, medical professional, or hospital did not perform their duties properly, we urge you to contact our office right away. We will begin with a free case consultation where we can discuss the important factors in your potential case and help you understand your rights.