Birth Injuries Resulting From Medical Malpractice

Negligence on the part of a doctor, nurse, or medical technician can cause serious injuries and even death of a patient.

Shoulder Dystocia LawyerPregnant women who trust doctors for the safe delivery of their child sometimes become victims of medical errors and often, it is the newborn who has to suffer for their lifetime. Birth injuries caused by medical negligence are a common occurrence. According to some health experts, two percent of total birth injuries are caused by medical negligence.

The Most Common Causes of Birth Injuries

Missouri medical malpractice lawyers describe birth injury as injury that results from complications during labor and delivery. The injuries may range from mild that may heal in a few days, to severe injuries such as brain damage that may render a child disabled for their lifetime. There are several medical errors that can cause birth injuries. A study conducted in 2010-11 involving 800 medical malpractice cases revealed that the most common causes of birth injuries were:

  • Improper management of pregnancy.
  • Delay in treating fetal distress.
  • Improper performance of vaginal delivery.

Other Common Causes of Birth Injuries

  • Failure to anticipate and diagnose birth complications involving a larger baby.
  • Failure to anticipate maternal health complications.
  • Failure to respond to bleeding in an appropriate and timely manner.
  • Failure to diagnose or respond to umbilical cord entrapment.
  • Delay in ordering Cesarean section.
  • Misuse of a vacuum extractor or forceps during delivery, causing injury to the fetus.
  • Inappropriate administration of labor inducing drugs such as Pitocin.

Preventable Medical Errors

Studies have shown that 1 in 1000 births involve a preventable injury or death. The most common medical errors that cause birth injuries are:

  • Errors in clinical judgment (77% cases)
  • Miscommunication (36% cases)
  • Technical error (26% cases)
  • Administrative failure (23% cases)
  • Ineffective supervision (15% cases)

Common Birth Injuries

  • Brain injury – oxygen deprivation during childbirth can cause seizure disorders, mental impairment, or cerebral palsy.
  • Forceps marks and bruising – use of forceps or vacuum extractor can leave some temporary marks and bruises on the baby’s head. These are mild injuries that heal in a few days, however, in some severe cases, it can cause a laceration or skull fracture.
  • Caput Succedaneum – vacuum extraction can cause severe swelling of the infant’s head. It heals in a few days.
  • Subconjunctival Hemorrhage –  a common birth injury characterized by a red band around the iris of the infant’s eyes. It heals in about a week.
  • Cephalohematoma – an injury characterized by bleeding between the bone and its fibrous covering, and during childbirth it may occur on the child’s head.
  • Brachial Palsy injuries – occurs when the brachial plexus, the group of nerves controlling movement of the hands and arms, is injured. It may cause permanent nerve damage as well.
  • Facial paralysis – pressure caused by forceps can lead to nerve damage that may result in facial paralysis. It can be mild or severe.

If you think that your child’s birth injury might be a result of medical negligence, please contact Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200 to investigate and litigate your case.


Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.

Contact Zevan Davidson Roman today.

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