Most women are able to deliver healthy infants without incident, whether they are in a hospital or under the care of a midwife at home. At Donovan & O’Connor, LLP, we know that despite advances in technology and parents’ best efforts, there are still too many people whose children are born with serious conditions as a direct result of a practitioner’s negligence.
Physicians are required to uphold a reasonable standard of care in the delivery room, which includes monitoring the mother and infant, employing safe practices to deliver the child and recognizing any signs of distress. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for every 1,000 live births in the country, there are seven infants who come into the world with birth injuries. Those injuries could include the following:
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Brain injury due to oxygen deprivation
- A brachial plexus injury, which is trauma to the shoulder
The DHHS goes on to report that such injuries are often preventable. Unfortunately, medical negligence does occur when physicians fail to notice the signs of fetal distress or order a Cesarean birth in time. In these situations, infants are born with conditions that will follow them their entire lives. In addition to the physical pain and emotional devastation, birth injuries can lead to expensive medical bills and require long-term care.
For example, if infants do not receive enough oxygen during childbirth, they may be born with cerebral palsy, which hinders muscle coordination and can affect speech, balance, bladder control, vision and more. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that some children born with cerebral palsy will never be able to walk. Properly monitoring an infant’s condition during pregnancy and delivery can reduce the risk of the child developing cerebral palsy as well as lower the likelihood of incurring other birth injuries.
To learn more about birth trauma and what your options may be, please visit our page on negligence during birth.