How Do I Know if my Child’s Birth Injury was Medical Malpractice?

Written by Atlee Hall

The consequences of a birth injury can be devastating for an injured child, as well as his or her family. Despite advances in medical technology and education, birth injuries are, unfortunately, not uncommon.

What Causes a Birth Injury?

A birth injury is any type of harm that occurs during or near the time of birth. A birth injury may be caused by oxygen deprivation, excessive pulling or pressure on the baby’s head or body, or other trauma during delivery.

Birth injuries are more common in the following instances:

  • The baby is large
  • The size or shape of the mother’s pelvis or birth canal makes it difficult to have a normal vaginal birth
  • Labor is difficult or very long
  • The baby is born prematurely
  • Devices, such as a vacuum or forceps, are used to deliver the baby
  • The baby is breech, meaning not head-first in the birth canal

What Are Common Types of Birth Injuries?

While there are many different types of birth injuries, some of the most common types include:

  • Bruising and broken bones
  • Brachial plexus palsy, which involves injury to a group of nerves that control arm and hand movement
  • Facial nerve injury caused by pressure on the baby’s face
  • Caput succedaneum, which is a swelling of the soft tissues in the baby’s scalp
  • Injuries caused by a lack of oxygen at or around the time of birth

How Do I Know If My Child’s Birth Injury Was Caused By Medical Malpractice?

It can be difficult for parents to get answers as to what happened when a child suffers a birth injury. When a baby is injured during birth, those injuries can last a lifetime. When the injury was avoidable, parents of the child may have a medical malpractice case against the medical professional who is responsible. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals need to be aware of complications that may lead to birth injuries and must do everything they can to prevent harm to both the mother and baby. If they fail to act reasonably, and a baby suffers a birth injury, this may be medical malpractice.