Negligent medical care during pregnancy or childbirth provides the basis for many personal injury medical malpractice suits brought by Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyers. OB/GYNs, nurses, and other medical professionals can be liable for birth injuries caused by their negligence. In many cases, clinics and hospitals may be liable, as well.
Birth injury and childbirth malpractice actions are extraordinarily complex. Heiligman & Mogul, P.C.’s Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyers have the experience and understanding of relevant science and law to successfully manage these cases.
Birth Injuries Caused by Malpractice
Negligent care during pregnancy or childbirth can cause a child’s birth injury. These injuries may include:
Asphyxia Birth Injuries
Asphyxia birth injuries include cerebral palsy (CP) and other brain injuries. These injuries may occur from a reduction in the amount of oxygen received by a fetus. This can happen when a doctor fails to monitor the vital signs of mother and fetus. It may also occur when a doctor neglects to identify and respond to umbilical cord or placental complications during childbirth or prenatal care.
Here are additional examples of medical negligence that can cause birth injuries:
- negligent administration and monitoring of anesthesia or oxygen during C-Section surgery
- failure to deliver a baby within 24 hours of the mother’s membrane rupture (water breaking)
- failure to order an indicated C-Section to deliver a large fetus (causing oxygen deprivation when the fetus becomes stuck in the birth canal)
C-Section Birth Injuries
Negligently performing a C-Section can lead to a child’s birth injuries. Failing to perform a C-Section within a reasonably safe time can also cause preventable birth injuries. Injuries to babies during C-sections performed with less than adequate care can include:
- organ damage
- brain damage
- nerve damage
- skin lacerations
Shoulder Dystocia and Brachial Plexus Palsy Injuries
Brachial plexus palsy injuries are birth injuries sometimes caused by medical negligence during pregnancy. Shoulder dystocia during a vaginal delivery can also cause this type of birth injury.
Shoulder dystocia is the catching of a baby’s shoulders behind the mother’s pelvic bones as the baby travels through the birth canal. A doctor who pulls on or stretches the baby’s neck in an attempt to free the baby’s shoulders can injure the baby’s brachial plexus. (The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves near the shoulder.)
Shoulder dystocia is more likely to occur when a fetus is of above average weight or size. For this reason, negligent prenatal care that contributes to a fetus’s over-large size may provide the basis for a brachial plexus palsy malpractice claim.
This negligent prenatal care may include the doctor’s failure to monitor the mother’s weight gain or diabetes during pregnancy. It may also include the doctor’s neglect to monitor the fetus’s increasing size. In these cases, the medical personnel involved in the negligent prenatal care and in the negligent delivery may be liable for the baby’s injury.