Childbirth Is Safe, But Malpractice Does Happen
In today’s day and age, childbirth is a relatively safe practice. So safe, in fact, that it’s easy to forget how dangerous that the childbirth process actually would be, if not for modern technology, and the acquired skill of doctors in that field.
But errors in childbirth do happen, and when they do, the lifelong effects can be catastrophic. The first inherent problem is that newborns are, by nature, very fragile; their systems don’t have the durability that older kids or adults have. Additionally, problems during childbirth that cause injuries to minors can end up having lifelong effects that the child may never fully recover from.
Injuries to the Head
Brain and head injuries are very common injuries sustained in childbirth. A newborn’s skull is not developed enough to fully protect the newborn’s brain, leaving the head particularly susceptible to injuries. The brain can also be affected when other parts of the baby are grabbed, or constricted, thus depriving the baby of oxygen, and affecting the brain as well.
Brain bleeds called hematomas also may happen. Seizures and death can result, if the condition is not immediately recognized, and treated.
The pulling action of the medical staff in extracting the baby can injure the nerves in the baby’s neck. Arm function can be lost, permanently or temporarily, when this is done too roughly. In severe cases, where due care is not used, the spinal cord can become damaged, leading to paralysis, both to limbs, or paralysis that affects facial movement.
Preeclampsia is a condition which is actually triggered by higher blood pressure in the mother. Although survivable, it can be deadly in the baby, if health care providers don’t recognize and pick up the condition, and take measures to avoid it.
Even cerebral palsy is now thought to be a condition that is caused by problems during childbirth. Constriction of the umbilical cord and other actions that deprive the child’s brain of blood flow, are now thought to be a cause of cerebral palsy.
There are many instances where a newborn’s breathing is affected or slowed, immediately after childbirth. A child may have a lowered heart rate, and labored breathing. Resuscitation, or insertion of a breathing tube may be necessary, but if no action is taken, the child’s life may be in danger.
Is it Malpractice?
Medical malpractice that causes birth injuries or defects can be difficult cases, because some injuries are just commonly accepted risks of childbirth, that may occur even in the practice of due care by the attending medical staff. The good news is that many more common injuries that happened during childbirth do resolve—some within a period of just days after the childbirth.
Call the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Pike & Lustig today for help if you have a newborn that you feel may have been injured as a result of malpractice during pregnancy or childbirth.