Healthcare professionals are responsible for making sure mothers bring healthy babies into the world. But unfortunately, even the most skilled doctor can make a careless mistake during labor and delivery that results in a birth injury.
What is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is any preventable health condition that a baby is born with. Some of the most common types of birth injuries include:
- Bone fractures
- Brain injuries
- Facial paralysis
- Brachial palsy injuries
Birth injuries are often confused with birth defects, but these are two separate types of health conditions. Many birth defects, such as Down Syndrome, stem from the child’s DNA. However, other birth defects can occur during pregnancy. For example, if the mother takes certain drugs or drinks alcohol while pregnant, the baby may be born with birth defects.
Medical Malpractice and Birth Injuries
Medical malpractice occurs when any healthcare professional makes a mistake that leads to an injury. About 28,000 babies are born with a birth injury every year in the United States, which shows that medical malpractice occurs far too often in the labor and delivery room. Some of the most common mistakes made by healthcare professionals that lead to birth injuries include:
- Administering the wrong type of medication to the mother.
- Administering the wrong amount of medication to the mother.
- Failing to perform a C-section in a timely manner.
- Improper use of tools such as forceps or the vacuum extractor.
- Applying too much force when pulling the baby out of the birth canal.
- Failing to monitor the baby for signs of distress.
Sometimes, these mistakes are made because the healthcare professional does not have much experience, while other times it may be because he is not paying enough attention. Regardless of the reason, there is no excuse for a medical professional’s negligence.
Long-Term Costs Associated With Birth Injuries
Parents will experience a great deal of emotional pain after learning their baby was born with an injury. However, that’s not the only cost of a birth injury. Many babies with birth injuries will require years of medical treatment, therapy, and rehabilitation, which does not come cheap. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the lifetime cost of treating cerebral palsy is around $1 million, while the lifetime cost of treating hearing loss or vision loss caused by a birth injury ranges between $400,000-$500,000. There are several government assistance programs available to help parents handle these massive costs, but the amount you receive will not come close to covering the entire cost.
Luckily, there is another option available to families who have been affected by medical malpractice. Parents should not hesitate to seek legal representation from a birth injury attorney to discuss the possibility of filing a medical malpractice claim against the healthcare professionals who caused the injury.
Legal Help is Available
A child’s birth injury can greatly affect every member of the family. There is no amount of money that can reverse the damage caused by a birth injury. But, compensation can help you pay for any expenses you have incurred or losses you have suffered as a result of the injury. If your child’s birth injury was caused by the negligence of a healthcare professional, contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, and Rowley today to discuss your case.