Unfortunately, personal injury attorneys in Washington see many cases of medical malpractice that harmed an infant. It is often said that the labor and delivery phase of pregnancy will happen no matter what and this is somewhat true. However, modern medicine provides resources to ease this process for both mothers and infants. When all goes well, the entire family benefits from modern medicine, but when these trained professionals fail to live up to reasonable expectations, it can result in tragedy.
Expecting couples do not like to think about birth injuries, and who can blame them. However, when you make yourself aware of the possible negative outcomes, it can give you insight into how the labor and delivery process is proceeding. The following section outlines a few of the most common birth injuries caused by malpractice.
-- Brain injury: Infants need constant monitoring before, during and after delivery. Failure to do so could result in oxygen deprivation which could cause serious injury to the infant's brain.
-- Palsy: This can occur if the infant's shoulders become trapped in the mother's pelvis during delivery. If the doctor tugs improperly on the infant, it can injure the brachial plexus nerves resulting in one of several forms of palsy.
-- Fractures: Often, a doctor must tug on the infant during a breech birth or if the mother has had a long and difficult delivery. Again, if the doctor pulls improperly, it could fracture bones, usually the collarbone.
-- Cephalohematoma (bleeding under the cranium) and caput succedaneum (swelling of the scalp tissue): The use of tools such as forceps and vacuums are common during delivery. However, improper use can result in either of these two injuries.
Childbirth is nearly always a wonderful experience leaving both infant and mother in good health. While medical malpractice-caused birth injuries are relatively rare, they do occur. If you need legal guidance following a birth injury, you should speak with a lawyer soon after the baby is born.
Source: Birth Injury Guide, "Most Common Birth Injuries Due to Malpractice," accessed March 24, 2016