In some cases, medical negligence can cause birth injuries. Doctors have a responsibility to manage all risks faced by the mother and the baby, as well as to follow all protocols. If a doctor fails to provide an adequate standard of care and newborn sustains injuries, as a result, the parents may be eligible to pursue compensation under their state’s medical malpractice laws.
Some ways medical negligence can lead to a birth injury include:
- Failure to diagnose a problem with the mother or infant, such as an infection
- Failure to call for a cesarean section when necessary
- Failure to identify a baby that is too large for the birth canal
- Failure to account for an unusual presentation of the infant
- Allowing the labor to last too long without intervention
- Improper use of vacuum device or forceps
The injuries babies may suffer perinatally can vary widely. They include:
- Fracture of the clavicle (collarbone)
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Anoxia and hypoxia
- Cerebral palsy
- Facial nerve damage
In addition, doctors are not the only members of the care team whose negligent actions can cause birth injuries. Nurses, midwives, and other members of the care team can also cause or contribute to birth injuries.