Although birth injuries are commonly not talked about and one of the worst pieces of news a new mother and father can receive, it needs to be addressed – after all, 20% of infant deaths are attributed to a birth injury. Let’s see how medical malpractice and negligence can lead to birth injuries and how you can claim compensation for your pain and suffering.
Birth injury lawyer – what to do once you experience this tragedy
Before we can understand the steps that you should take to deal with a birth injury in your family, you need to know a few common terms that are thrown around in the legal world – medical malpractice and medical negligence.
What is medical malpractice?
If you are trying to figure out who is liable and culpable for the birth injury that occurred, you are going to be dealing with the subject of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is a term that is related to when a healthcare professional (i.e. the delivery doctor or the attending nurse) does not provide the correct treatment or care to someone who is receiving medical care. Sometimes, the mistakes made by the healthcare professional can lead to birth injury or death in more severe situations.
Typically, medical malpractice involves the person making some type of error – this can involve an error in diagnosing the patient and giving the wrong medication, poorly managing the symptoms, providing the wrong course of treatment, or failing to provide the correct aftercare post-birth or post-surgery.
Medical malpractice in the legal world makes it possible for those who have experienced a birth injury to receive any legal help and monetary compensation for the ordeal they have been through, in this case, you could find a birth injury lawyer for help. If something happened to their child during birth due to medical malpractice, they are eligible to receive compensation for the treatment that they received during the birthing procedure.
Let’s see the three main types of medical malpractice that you can use in the legal world when you find out about birth injury:
- Failure to provide the correct care – when it comes to providing care to a patient, the medical professional must provide the correct “standard of care”. If they fail to meet this standard, then they are eligible to qualify for malpractice or negligence.
- Injury from negligence – one of the most common birth injuries caused results from negligence on the part of healthcare professionals. If something happens during the birthing process, but the patient was not fully injured in the process, the patient can claim negligence that could have caused the injury.
- The injury is damaging – the last category of malpractice that can occur is when the mistake makes damaging consequences that can be long-lasting, such as chronic pain, loss of monetary income, disability, or pain and suffering.
What is birth injury and statistics on birth injury caused by medical negligence?
Now that you know what to look out for in medical malpractice and negligence, you might be wondering- what is birth injury, and do I qualify for legally suing my medical provider? Simply put, a birth injury is any type of injury that occurs to the baby during birth or immediately after. If you find that the medical professional did not deliver your baby correctly or they failed to provide the proper standard of care post-birth, this can qualify as a birth injury. Some of the most common injuries that can occur when you are giving birth include not having enough oxygen to the baby’s brain, pressure on the baby’s head, or deformities.
What are common birth injuries to look out for? There are many types of birth injuries, but injuries to the brain are the most common types that can cause long-lasting illness or conditions with your child if not treated during the birthing process:
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy – one of the most common types of brain damage that can cause long-lasting consequences is HIE, which is the result of a lack of oxygen to the brain during the birthing process. This is the most common type of brain damage that will occur in a child during the birthing process, and can oftentimes lead to chronic conditions like issues with the child’s motor cortex or cerebral palsy.
- Periventricular leukomalacia – this brain damage condition, known as PVL, is caused by a lack of blood flow or bleeding within the brain.
- Intracranial hemorrhage – the hemorrhage is typically caused by blocked blood vessels or problems with the mother’s health, such as high blood pressure.
- Cerebral dysgenesis – this brain damage condition can occur if there is direct damage to the baby’s head after being delivered, leading to a lack of motor function and development.
Birth injury statistics
To get an idea of how common birth injury is in the world today, let’s look at the birth injury statistics regarding medical malpractice:
- 134 out of every 100,000 children that are born will die of a birth injury that was the fault of the medical professional in charge of delivering the baby or taking care of the baby post-birth
- Around 25% of infant deaths are caused by misinformed or poor prenatal care after birth
- 7 out of every 1,000 children born in the United States will experience birth injuries
- The incidence of birth injuries has risen since 1989
- Cerebral palsy is the most common birth injury, with around 5 out of every 1,000 babies being born with this condition
- 14% of birth injuries are not diagnosed until the child is already 4-5 years old
- 15 out of 1,000 babies were injured in not-for-profit hospitals in the year 2000
- 33 out of 1,000 babies were injured in for-profit hospitals in the year 2000
- Boys are more like to have birth injuries than female babies
As you can see, there is a lot to take into account when it comes to birth injuries, medical malpractice, and the types of conditions that your child might have to deal with for the rest of their life! Cerebral palsy is the most common type of birth injury that can occur – and although your child can lead a very fulfilling and happy life with this condition, you need to make sure that you receive medical compensation for the negligence and malpractice that occurred during and immediately after the birthing process to help you cover for medical bills and therapy.