Every mother looks forward to giving birth to a healthy baby. Unfortunately, sometimes babies suffer injuries during labor and delivery, causing lots of stress for parents and other relatives. While you figure out all the usual challenges of life with a newborn, you’ll also need to handle the complications. It can be difficult to know if your obstetrician or another medical professional caused your baby’s birth injury. It can be even more difficult to prove that they didn’t act according to established medical standards.
Getting answers from the doctors and hospital may be difficult since they will be reluctant to share details. Doctors want to protect their reputations and careers. Hospitals don’t want the financial fallout that comes with a medical malpractice case. Therefore, parents often struggle to get clear answers about what caused their baby’s birth injury. That being said, medical professionals and hospitals should be held responsible when their negligence leads to injury. Hiring a Maryland birth injury lawyer can help you to get the answers you need. Your attorney will also play a major role in getting you the compensation you deserve.
Common Birth Injuries Due to Medical Error
Some birth injuries can’t be prevented, especially if the delivery is a difficult one. Sometimes, doctors need to use tools to assist with the process and this increases the likelihood of injury. However, even in high-risk births, doctors can mitigate damage. Some of the birth injuries that may be due to medical error are:
- Cerebral palsy. This is a group of conditions that affect movement, balance and posture. It is can be caused by damage to the brain that affects a person’s ability to control their muscles. Sometimes the white matter in the brain is damaged during birth or the baby suffers from a lack of oxygen. A brain hemorrhage can also lead to cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy can range from mild to severe. In some cases, it is unavoidable but sometimes doctors fail to notice the baby isn’t getting enough oxygen. If this is the case, a Maryland birth injury attorney can help you recover damages.
- Jaundice is a condition that causes the skin and white of the eyes to become yellow. It occurs when a baby’s blood contains too much bilirubin. It is not usually harmful. However, a high level of this yellow pigment can cause brain damage if not treated appropriately.
- Brachial palsy or Erb’s Palsy. This is an injury that affects the brachial plexus. This is a group of nerves going from the neck to the arm. It happens when the nerves get torn or stretched during birth, often when it’s difficult to deliver the baby’s shoulder. It can sometimes result in permanent damage.
- Vacuum extraction or forceps errors. If medical professionals use these tools incorrectly, they can cause fractures, bruising and nerve damage.
Birth Injuries vs. Birth Defects
Birth injuries occur during labor or delivery and affect an otherwise healthy newborn. However, birth defects are problems that develop during pregnancy. They often occur during the first trimester. They can be caused by:
- Genetic abnormalities can result in conditions like Down Syndrome.
- Exposure to toxins. Exposure to certain medications and chemicals can increase the risk of birth defects. For example, antidepressants Paxil and Zoloft have been linked to defects of the heart and lungs.
How You Can Prove Medical Negligence Caused Your Baby’s Birth Injury?
Not all birth injuries result from negligence. Complications can be a part of delivery and they can be caused by:
- Premature delivery
- Overly large babies
- The size or shape of the mother’s pelvis
- Prolonged labor
- Breech birth
Birth injury claims seek to establish that a doctor acted in a manner that was below the accepted standard of care. An obstetrician would be held to the same standard as another obstetrician in the same situation. If most doctors would have treated your baby differently, you may have a valid claim. However, you also need to prove that their breach of duty actually resulted in your baby’s birth injury. You must then show that the injury resulted in some time of loss for which monetary compensation would be appropriate. Your attorney will need to draw on a range of evidence to prove your case.
Contact An Attorney About Your Baby’s Birth Injury Today
If your child suffered a birth injury, you may be entitled to compensation. A Maryland law firm that handles birth injuries will help you build a case. Raising a child with health challenges is difficult so you deserve all the financial help you can get. Contact Pinder Plotkin LLC today to schedule a free consultation.