What is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury refers to an injury sustained, to the mother or child, due to the negligence of medical staff responsible for care during a procedure. It can be difficult to differentiate a birth injury and a birth defect. When an infant has an issue with their health due to their genetics that is present before birth it’s referred to as a birth defect. A doctor does not cause a birth defect, whereas a doctor does typically play a role in a birth injury, usually happening before or shortly after birth. Contact our Philadelphia-based birth injury attorneys at the Law Office of Jared S. Zafran to discuss a possible medical malpractice case.
What are Common Birth Injuries?
Childbirth is a delicate process, and healthcare providers should be highly skilled and aware of the potential risks before engaging in any birthing procedures. Some of the most common birth injuries are the result of healthcare providers using improper or negligent procedures.
Some common birth injuries are:
- Hypoxia: This occurs when a baby does not receive enough oxygen during childbirth and can be easily missed by unobservant healthcare providers. Hypoxia results in brain damage, further complications, or even death for the infant.
- Head or Neck Trauma or Fractures: Often, excessive and undue force is used with forceps and other instruments for guiding the baby during the birthing process. The force and twisting can result in trauma, bone breaks or fractures, and even spinal cord injury. In worst-case scenarios, this can cause paralysis.
- Brachial Plexus Damage: The nerves running from the spine through the arms and hands can also sustain an injury during birth, and the damage can also result in paralysis, requiring special care and treatment.
- Cerebral Palsy: This is a well-known birth injury that stems from brain damage sustained during childbirth and can affect muscular development, motor skills, and coordination.
Brain hemorrhages, jaundice, general nerve damage and hematomas are also all common birth injuries related to medical malpractice. If you believe your baby experienced a birth injury, contact the experienced Philadelphia birth injury lawyers at the Law Office of Jared S. Zafran to discuss your case.
What are the Causes of Birth Injuries?
There are many causes of birth injuries and can vary from missed diagnoses to outright improper techniques and procedures being used that injure the child or mother.
- Missed Diagnosis: Some healthcare providers fail to make a critical diagnosis of either the child or mother’s health during the birth process, which can result in dangerous complications that put both lives at risk. These commonly include infections that are easily passed from mother to child.
- Misuse of Surgical Tools or Forceps: Misusing these tools can cause severe injuries to the baby’s brain, head, neck, or spinal damage.
- Failure to Recommend C-Section: Healthcare providers can miss cues that indicate the need for a C-Section, instead of proceeding with delivery via a potentially dangerous natural birth.
- Oxygen Deprivation: This is very common, and a cause for a great deal of brain damage and related complications post-birth.
- Prescription Medication Dosages and Errors: Many birth injuries are the result of the improper drug being administered, or the incorrect dose.
If you or your baby has experienced a birth injury, contact the experienced Philadelphia birth injury lawyers at the Law Office of Jared S. Zafran to discuss your case.
Can a Mother Suffer from a Birth Injury?
Mothers can be just as susceptible to injuries as their babies. Some of these injuries can affect the mother for the rest of her life. These can include:
- Vaginal tearing and scarring
- Uterine ruptures
- Increased rates of infection
- Improper stitching following a C-section or other procedure
- Misprescribed medications
Contact the experienced birth injury lawyers at the Law Office of Jared S. Zafran to discuss your legal options.
Is a Birth Injury Considered Medical Malpractice?
In most cases, a birth injury is considered medical malpractice. Some birth injuries can simply be the result of congenital defects and disorders that are unrelated to the quality of care provided by a healthcare professional. However, many causes for birth injuries are overlooked or worsened by a healthcare provider and are therefore considered medical malpractice. It is important to work with a local Philadelphia birth injury attorney experienced in birth injuries to determine whether a birth injury was due to malpractice on behalf of a provider.