The line between medical malpractice and birth injuries can blur together if a doctor acts negligently when tending to a mother giving birth. A doctor must always uphold a certain standard of medical care as a requirement of those practicing in the medical field. When a doctor is negligent during delivery, it can potentially cause severe harm to mother and child.
What should have been a day of joy and celebration may turn into a nightmare and anguish upon realizing that your newborn isn’t perfectly healthy, and that a doctor or medical staff may have contributed to it occurring in the first place.
If you believe that your doctor was careless, ignored symptoms, failed to properly monitor you, or something else during labor and delivery, then it may be time to consult with a legal professional about what you can do to seek justice for what happened.
Common Examples of Negligence
Delivery can be a very complex and emotional time for a mother and her baby. With such an intense thing to go through, it is important that medical staff are prompt in identifying and treating any issues that arise along the way. If they don’t, then the mother and baby may succumb to injuries or fatality. The most common examples of negligence and child birth include:
- Failing to notify parents of an infant’s abnormality before birth
- Failing to diagnose an illness or issue, or identifying the problem too late
- Failing to use birth-assisting tools in a safe manner
- Failing to perform a C-section when needed
- Not identifying when the fetus is in distress and treating it promptly
- Not preventing or adequately controlling hemorrhaging
- Not diagnosing the mother with maternal diabetes and treating accordingly
- Failing to monitor oxygen level of fetus
Failure or Delayed Diagnosis
Doctors may fail to diagnose a condition in the mother entirely, diagnose her with the wrong condition, or diagnose her too late, which then can lead to serious injury. Such conditions may include the mother having high blood pressure, diabetes, or another illness that affects the labor and delivery process, potentially resulting in the newborn getting hurt too. Examples of other conditions that a doctor may delay in identifying or fail to diagnose are listed below:
- Maternal infections
- Prolapsed umbilical cord
- Uterine rupture
- rH incompatibility
- Placenta previa
- Placental abruption
It is also possible that a woman gave birth to a baby, but had taken steps to not procreate. Wrongful pregnancy is when a woman gets pregnant despite using methods to not have a baby, such as sterilization or an abortion. Even if the baby is born completely healthy, the parents can still sue the doctor or medical facility for wrongful pregnancy. That is, if the doctor who performed the sterilization, abortion, or other procedure had not done it properly, which led to the pregnancy.
If you are a mother who endured a birth injury or wrongful pregnancy, then it is recommended that you schedule a consultation with an attorney, who is experienced in medical malpractice cases as soon as possible.