Childbirth is a time where everyone marvels at a medical miracle. Unfortunately, bringing a child into the world is a complicated process where a number of things can go wrong. Although parents may worry about deliveries that involve complications, no parent wants to imagine that their child won't have a chance at a normal life due to a doctor's error.
Nevertheless, medical malpractice can (and does) occur during the birthing process. Malpractice is defined as negligence on the part of a doctor, nurse or other medical professional involved in the birth; essentially the failure to use reasonable care in caring for the mother (or the unborn baby). Mistakes can occur in monitoring the baby, not acting quickly or prudently when complications arise, or using improper technique in conducting the birth.
Sometimes these mistakes may result in benign injuries (such as scratches or pressure marks) that quickly fade away. In severe instances, medical negligence can have lifelong consequences. The following are common injuries that can come about as a result of medical malpractice.
Cerebral palsy - When a baby's brain does not receive enough oxygen (or if the baby is deprived of oxygen during the birth) the baby is at risk of suffering brain damage.
Facial paralysis - Nerves in a baby's face can be injured when forceps are used incorrectly. An infant with nerve damage may require surgery to regain normal functions.
Erb's palsy - Injuries to the group of nerves within the shoulder that controls hand and arm movement. This may occur because of how the baby is positioned in the womb, and it may not pass easily through the birth canal.
Bone fractures - These injuries can occur during difficult deliveries. A baby's collar bone can be fractured if the doctor exerts too much pressure during the birth.
There are instances where injuries occur despite the best efforts of doctors and medical staff. However, malpractice comes about more often than physicians would like to admit. If you believe that your child was injured as a result of malpractice, contact an experienced personal injury attorney.