Birth injuries and medical malpractice occur when a physician acts negligently and fails to uphold the standard quality of medical care that’s required of medical professionals. A negligent doctor and birth injuries can lead to injuries during pregnancy, during labor and delivery, or shortly after childbirth. The consequences are nothing short of tragic.
What is a Negligent Doctor?
A negligent doctor is a doctor who fails to uphold the medical standard of care. Some ways that doctors may be negligent include:
- Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis
- Improper monitoring of fetal or maternal vital signs
- Improper use of birth-assisting tools
- Failure to properly help parents avoid a pregnancy, such as a botched hysterectomy, resulting in wrongful pregnancy
- Failure to inform parents of an infant’s abnormality, resulting in wrongful birth
Negligent Doctor and Birth Injuries
Negligent doctors can make mistakes that lead to injuries to the mother and baby. In some instances, the injuries are minor and the baby and mother will go on to heal. However, in other cases, the injuries are so severe that they result in a lifetime of medical and cognitive problems.
Some birth injuries occurring due to doctor negligence include:
- Forceps delivery injury
- Vacuum extraction injury
- Failing to properly detect and address fetal distress
- Improper management of maternal infections
- Failing to perform an emergency Cesarean section (C-section)
- Failing to monitor and control oxygen intake (oxygen deprivation)
- Administering medications that are unsafe for the infant
- Resuscitation errors
The most common reasons for maternal injuries include:
- Failure to prevent and/or control hemorrhaging
- Failure to prevent and/control perineal tearing
- Improper management of treat maternal infections (Group B Strep, chickenpox, herpes simplex virus, etc.)
- Failure to diagnose and treat preeclampsia
- Failure to diagnose and treat gestational diabetes
Wrongful pregnancy occurs when a woman becomes pregnant despite sterilization efforts. Even if an infant is born healthy without any disabilities or disorders, parents may still have the right to file for damages against the doctor who performed sterilization surgery or other procedures to prevent pregnancy.
Wrongful pregnancy lawsuit rules will vary according to state. Most states allow damages for medical expenses and lost wages, yet only a few states will allow damages for pain and suffering related to an unwanted baby. Talk to a birth injury lawyer to learn more.