One of the happiest times for any parent is the moment of their child’s birth. After months of waiting their child has finally arrived. However, that moment can become a dark time when a mother or child does not survive the birthing process or there are errors made that cause permanent harm to either of them. It is a terrible and tragic fact that many of these deaths and injuries are caused by medical errors and in many cases, could have been prevented.
Birth Injuries That Can Occur From Medical Errors
Many babies are delivered happy and healthy even without medical assistance. However, there are cases where medical teams used poor judgment or performed grievous medical errors during the birthing process that caused injuries or even death. During the labor process, an error can cut off the babies oxygen supply, cause damage to the infant’s body and even can cause brain damage. Some injuries that can result from these errors are:
- Shoulder dystocia. This can cause brachial plexus injuries
- Birth hypoxia or lack of oxygen. This can lead to brain damage, cerebral palsy and even death
- Breech complications
- Drug overdose or medication error that causes injury
- Vacuum extraction injuries
- Cesarean complications
Some injuries may be apparent at birth. However, many injuries, especially brain injuries, may not be revealed until months or even years later as the child develops. The damage can be severe and change the fate of the child and their family for the rest of their lives.
Mistakes That Can Cause An Injury To A Baby
Before and during labor, there are decisions that must be made by medical staff that can affect the health and well being of both the baby and the mother. When errors or mistakes are made, these can jeopardize one or both of them. Some common errors that have led to injuries and even deaths of precious infants are:
- Waiting too long to do a caesarean procedure
- Insufficient monitoring of the fetus for distress
- Lack of communication between medical staff
- Not testing the bilirubin level of the infant
- Not suctioning out meconium properly
Medical professionals are expected to be highly trained and know the correct procedures to protect their patients from injury. Some tragedies cannot be helped, however, there are many times that medical errors cause injuries that would not have occurred naturally or could have been prevented with due care.
Fetal Death During Labor & Delivery
The worst scenario imaginable for any parent is learning that their child did not survive the birth or dies shortly after birth. Medical science has greatly reduced the chance of infant death during birth, however it is always a possibility. In 2008, the rate of infant death was 6.61 per 1,000 live births. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2008 over 18,000 babies died within the first 28 days of their lives and almost 10,000 babies died before reaching their first birthday.
Most of the deaths of these precious babies are related to congenital defects, complications from premature birth, sudden infant death syndrome or accidents. However, 6% are attributed to maternal complications, either during pregnancy or the delivery. In cases where there was negligence on the part of the medical facility or birthing team that led to the death of an infant, a medical malpractice case is a possibility.
Coping With Birth Injuries And Deaths
Birthing injuries and, even worse, the death of an infant is unimaginable for most. Parents that believe that medical mistakes were made that caused a birthing injury or death have the right to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit. Chicago Medical Malpractice Attorneys will help families by investigating and researching what went wrong and will be there to pursue a lawsuit on behalf of the parents and child that has harmed. We invite you to meet with us for a free consultation to discuss your concerns regarding the birth of your child.