A baby being delivered is often one of the single-most greatest experiences of a person’s life. Most parents are overjoyed at the arrival of their child, and look forward to creating memories with their little one. However, while many do not even like to think about it, the truth is that every year a number of babies are born with preventable birth injuries.
Statistically, one out of every six babies born in the United States suffers from some kind of birth injury. And while some of these injuries are considered minor in nature — like a bruise or a scratch — others are life-changers for both the parents and the child.
Of those birth injuries considered severe, cerebral palsy often tops the list. With cerebral palsy a baby suffers from brain damage, which is typically caused by the baby being deprived oxygen during the birthing process. In the past, there have been cases where cerebral palsy was caused by a doctor or nurse not ordering a cesarean section in a timely matter.
One of those cases was recently heard around the country when a family ended up being awarded $58 million. In that case, a jury decided that the obstetrician had made a number of medical errors during the birthing process. Part of the claim was that he should have been delivered two days earlier, when his mother’s embryonic fluid started to quickly decrease.
However, cerebral palsy is not the only serious birth injury, as there is also a condition known as Erb’s palsy, which is caused by a group of nerves being damaged during birth. This often happens when a baby’s shoulder is caught during the birth. Some cases of Erb’s palsy results in the child losing most or all of the function of their arm.
Of course this is not an exhaustive list of ever possible birth injury, but it does include at least two that sometimes could have been prevented, and are the result of medical malpractice. And while in many cases nothing can be done to reverse the damage; those doctors, nurses and medical staff who acted negligently can often be held liable for compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Source: KRJH, “How medical malpractice leads to birth injuries,” Jan. 11, 2012