Any doctor, nurse, or other medical practitioner that helps with the delivery of an infant is expected to be able to handle any unforeseen circumstance and react appropriately to protect the mother and the child. Failing to do so could be seen as medical malpractice, especially if the child suffers a serious birth injury. In such tragic cases, the parents of the child can pursue financial compensation for medical costs, rehabilitation, emotional trauma, and so on, but only if negligence and liability can be proven.
Proving both the doctor’s negligence and the fact that it created liability in a birth injury case can be difficult. The first step is often pinpointing the actual causation of the harm, or what the practitioner did wrong to eventually cause the injury.
Common causes of birth injuries that can be traced to doctor negligence include:
- Exhaustion: Doctors and nurses often work incredibly long hours, sometimes going home at the same time they arrived for work the previous day. Exhaustion from overwork can cause a myriad of crucial mistakes. It is important to note that fatigue is a reason birth injuries can happen, but it should not be considered an excuse that removes liability. A doctor should know not to perform such an important task without complete focus.
- Miscommunication: When more than one physician is required to help a mother through labor and delivery, constant communication must be maintained among the team members. Sometimes serious harm occurs just because two doctors did not communicate well with one another.
- Lack of care: When forceps, vacuums, and other instruments are involved with birthing a child, absolute carefulness and delicateness must be exercised. A doctor or nurse practitioner that pulls on a child with too much force, twists the infant awkwardly, or uses the wrong tool altogether will likely cause a brain or nerve injury.
- Medicinal error: Women entering labor are often given a few types of medication to assist with the process and dull the pain. Administering the wrong drug, or an incorrect dosage of the right drug, can jeopardize both the mother’s and the child’s health.
- Delayed diagnosis: Some birth injuries occur well before the child’s birth. An obstetrician is tasked with monitoring a woman and her child’s health during pregnancy. Failing to recognize a problem in these early or preliminary phases could be catastrophic later when the mother is giving birth.
- Ineptness: Perhaps one of the most common forms of negligence that result in a child birth injury is general ineptness, or an unfamiliarity with the proper procedures. Every doctor was new to the profession at some point, but these are not the doctors that should be permitted to handle such an important process, especially not alone.
Legal Representation for Birth Injury Cases in Charleston
Has your child been injured during or before birth due to a doctor’s negligence or error? Berthold Law Firm, PLLC and our Charleston birth injury lawyers would like to hear your claims. Contact us online or dial 304.605.2040 to set up a free consultation and tell us what you think was the cause of your child’s birth injury. We might be able to determine if you have a valid claim and get you started on the path to seeking compensation.