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How Malpractice Can Cause Injuries in Newborns

Childbirth is hard on both the mother and the baby, and some degree of injury should be expected. However, poor medical intervention can cause unnecessary damage to the baby. Medical malpractice can lead to lasting, sometimes life-long injuries to a newborn.

Here are some forms of medical malpractice and the harm they can create in babies.

Improper Intervention

Childbirth should be a natural process, and it should take as long as it needs. However, complications make intervention necessary. A good doctor should monitor the progress of both mother and baby and step in when needed.

Abnormally long labors are a cause for concern. They put a huge amount of stress on both the adult and the child. Mothers can develop high blood pressure. This is a problem for anyone, but it especially affects mothers who may already have heart issues. A long labor can also cause the baby fetal distress. Doctors should be aware of when to get involved. Allowing labor to go on for too long is a form of malpractice, and it can cause harm.

Alternatively, some doctors intervene too quickly. They may call for a cesarean section before the baby is fully developed. Perhaps they induce labor without allowing the process to continue naturally.

Improper Use of Vacuums or Forceps

Medical science has come a long way, and many traditional methods are starting to fade away. Even so, there are still occasions where a doctor uses either a vacuum or forceps to assist in childbirth.

A vacuum device can go on top of the baby’s head. Gently, it applies suction to keep the latched onto it. From there, a doctor can guide the baby out by pulling the vacuum forward. Similarly, forceps gently clamp around a baby’s head. Once the baby is secure, the doctor can use the forceps to help pull the baby the rest of the way out of the canal.

Used correctly, forceps and vacuums should not create any undue harm to the baby. Used, poorly, however, they can cause serious, lasting damage.

Head injuries are a major concern when malpractice is involved. Improperly placed, a vacuum can create too much suction on the head, pulling blood vessels or even bits of skull out of place. Poor use of forceps can crush a baby’s skull. Either injury could create lasting, lifelong brain injuries.

Even if the devices themselves don’t cause harm, a bad doctor could guide the baby through the canal incorrectly. The baby could get caught on something inside the mother with a doctor still pulling on the other end. This can stretch out the neck or cause injury to the collarbone.

Malpractice and Personal Injury Cases

If your child was unnecessarily harmed in childbirth, you should contact an attorney for help. They may advise you to pursue the case and seek financial compensation.

In a malpractice case, you can be repaid for any money you spent on treating your child’s injuries. You may also be able to receive money for any future treatments, including the use of medical devices the child may need.

If treating your child caused you to lose work, you may be able to recover that lost income. The same is true if caring for your child altered your ability to advance in your career. A personal injury case could compensate you for this lost “potential” income.

You may also be able to receive money for your pain and suffering. If the malpractice is particularly egregious, you may be eligible to receive punitive damages as well. This is money the court demands from a defendant strictly to punish them.

If you believe your child is the victim of medical malpractice, our office can help. For a consultation , contact us online or call us now at (803) 938-4952.