The birth of a child is a day that every parent remembers for the rest of his or her life. They are also placing an extreme amount of trust in the hands of the medical professionals who handle the birthing process. When something goes wrong and mistakes are made, the results can be devastating, as newborns are extremely vulnerable as they are being born.
If someone makes a mistake when a child is being born, it can lead not only to devastating medical, emotional and financial consequences, but it can also lead to a complicated legal situation should the parents decide to pursue a claim for medical malpractice. Below is a look at some common injuries that occur and the potentially negligent parties involved in a preventable birth injury.
Common Birth Injuries
Generally, most preventable birth injuries occur as the infant is being brought out of the room. During any birth, there is a short amount of time when the infant is vulnerable because he or she is traversing the birth canal and is temporarily cut off from the oxygen supply that is so critical during those first few moments. Some of the injuries that can occur include:
- Erb’s Palsy
- Hypoxic encephalopathy
- Cerebral Palsy
- Muscle injury
These injuries can occur due to improper suction, improper extraction whereby the infant is stuck in the birth canal for too long and improper handling where the infant’s body is harmed due to the application of too much force in a sensitive area.
Parties Who Could be Responsible
When people think of medical malpractice and specifically birth injuries, most would assume that any mistake that leads to such injuries is the fault of the doctor. While it’s quite common for the doctor to be responsible, several other medical professionals are involved in the birthing process and each could make a mistake that causes damage to the infant. A few examples appear below:
- Doctor – The doctor is in charge of the procedure, and ultimately accountability falls to him or her for a mistake during the birthing process.
- Nurse – Nurses are always present in the delivery room and are trusted to handle critical aspects of the birthing process.
- Physician’s Assistant – The PA is also present and deeply involved in the birthing process, and his or her mistake could lead to a mistake by the doctor in charge.