How Medical Mistakes Can Lead to Serious Birth Injuries
The day of your baby’s birth should be joyful and exhilarating, but these emotions of elation can turn around quickly if you learn that your infant suffers from birth injuries. Instead of taking your child home to celebrate the occasion, thoughts of medical costs, future care, and a lifetime of suffering weigh heavy on your mind. These concerns are certainly valid, as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the cost of raising a child with birth injury-related disabilities can be 25 times higher as infants born without serious medical conditions.
If your baby was born under circumstances indicating negligence, your rights as a parent stem from state medical malpractice laws. You could be entitled to recover compensation for medical expenses, the costs of future care, your own lost wages, pain and suffering, and many other losses. However, claims based upon prenatal or delivery mistakes can be more complicated than other med mal cases. You should discuss your circumstances with a New York birth injuries lawyer if you suspect any of these errors caused harm to your infant.
Errors During Prenatal Care: The mother’s womb is home to the baby for its first few months of life, so physicians must provide proper care during the gestation period. Inadequate, negligent care increases the potential for serious complications that can affect the infant’s health and development. Some mistakes that can lead severe birth injuries include:
Failure to Test for Risk Factors: Some women may have health issues before becoming pregnant, while others develop a medical condition during pregnancy. Both scenarios can lead to pregnancy complications. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that physicians should always be ordering lab screenings for such risk factors as:
- Urinary tract infections;
- Hereditary and genetic disorders;
- Mental health problems;
- Hypertension, i.e., high blood pressure; and,
- Many others.
Failure to Advise on Lifestyle Choices: Mothers-to-be may know to avoid drinking alcohol and smoking during pregnancy, but there are many other lifestyle choices doctors should communicate to their patients.
Failing to Diagnosis Issues with the Placenta: Placental insufficiency, placenta previa, placental abruption, and related conditions can lead to complications during pregnancy and later delivery.
Misdiagnosing an Umbilical Cord Problem: Through prenatal examinations, a physician should be able to detect umbilical cord prolapse, nuchal cord issues, and umbilical cord knots.
Mistakes During Labor and Delivery: Childbirth can be a strenuous, somewhat traumatic process, but proper care can ensure the safety of mother and child. The most critical task for health care providers is vigilant monitoring. Changes or disruptions in fetal heart rate, the mother’s vital signs, and related issues could indicate distress. Early detection of problems means physicians can take proper action to address emergencies, but negligent monitoring may result in life-threatening delivery complications.
Additional types of labor and delivery errors include:
- Failures or delays in performing a C-section, which can lead to such complications as infection, excessive bleeding, blood clots, emergency hysterectomy, and others;
- Improper use of forceps, a vacuum extractor, or other birth assisting devices;
- Staff mishandling the infant after birth; and,
- Negligence in monitoring the mother and baby in the hours after delivery.
Discuss Legal Remedies with Our New York Birth Injuries Attorneys
These mistakes during prenatal care and delivery are usually preventable, and there are many others that can cause harm for both the baby and the mother. To learn more about your rights in a birth injuries claim, please contact The Mandel Law Firm at (646) 770-3868 or via our website. We are happy to schedule a no-cost case evaluation to review your situation and explain how these cases work.