When a situation prevents a baby from being born during the natural timeframe once a mother goes into labor, it is a delayed birth. Typically, this occurs when a medical procedure should have happened before the birth but was rescheduled, delayed, or did not occur at all. Delayed birth can put the mother and child at risk of certain medical conditions and injuries, especially those related to oxygen deprivation in the infant.
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The Risks of a Delayed Birth
Depending on the circumstances, infants born in a delayed birth that receive immediate medical attention can recover. Still, many experience serious birth injuries, often due to prolonged pressure on the baby’s head or spine. Some cases can result in wrongful death if the birth was delayed for too long. Others can also lead to permanent disability and long-term medical conditions, which include:
- Asperger’s syndrome. Although this neurological disorder is on the mild end of the autism spectrum disorder, affected children may lack coordination and have problems with social interaction, compulsiveness, and fidgeting.
- Brain damage. Oxygen deprivation and asphyxiation in infants during childbirth can lead to wrongful death or lifelong consequences. It is likely for the infant’s brain to suffer serious damage after three minutes of oxygen deprivation. 10 minutes with limited oxygen can result in the death of many cells and poorer recovery. After 15 minutes, the brain damage is permanent with little to no possibility of recovery.
- Cerebral palsy. Generally, the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy appear during the child’s infancy or preschool years. It affects movement and muscle tone, leading to abnormal posture, involuntary movements, unsteady walking, and abnormal reflexes. People with cerebral palsy can also have intellectual disabilities and problems swallowing.
The Symptoms of a Delayed Birth
Immediate symptoms to watch out for after a delayed birth include:
- Arched back when crying.
- Problems with sucking for up to 48 hours.
- High pitched crying.
- Asymmetrical limb movement.
Down the road, parents of children born in a delayed birth must also watch out for developmental delays and missed developmental milestones.
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Who Can Be Held Liable for a Delayed Birth Injury?
The injuries from a delayed birth generally have to do with some form of breach of duty. These include medical negligence, misdiagnosis, or diagnosis error. Depending on the details surrounding the delayed birth, the following individuals or groups may be liable:
- The doctor: If there is a decision not to proceed with cesarean delivery, induced labor delivery, or any other medical procedure and there is a delayed birth, the doctor in charge of the delivery can face a medical malpractice claim. This lawsuit will likely cite breach of duty and negligence as its core argument.
- The manufacturer of a medical device: If the delayed birth is due to a faulty or defective medical device, you can bring forth a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the medical equipment in a product liability claim. An example is if a piece of medical equipment fails to detect a condition that would require the mother to undergo a C-section instead of natural birth.
- The staff: Another group of people that can be liable in a delayed birth claim is the nursing staff or hospital administration. An example is if a nurse fails to relay vital information to the doctor or surgeon before they proceed with bringing the child into the world.
Compensation Available in a Delayed Birth Injury
If your child suffered injuries in a delayed birth, you may qualify for economic and non-economic damages through a detailed delayed birth injury claim. The following damages may be available in a delayed birth injury:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Decreased quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Additional healthcare expenses such as therapy, counseling, home modifications, et cetera
Do You Need a Delayed Birth Injury Lawyer?
If something goes wrong during the birth of a child due to negligence, the liable parties must be held accountable. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you fight for fair compensation in your delayed birth case. For a free case review, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 to discuss your case with a member of the team.