How high of a risk do you think your unborn child has of suffering a serious birth injury in a modern medical facility?
Would you have guessed that your child’s risk of injury is about six out of 1,000?
That’s how many children, each year, are injured needlessly during the birthing process. While such injuries may be more common in developing countries, there are few reasons for them to take place here.
In the United States, most birth injuries result from one of several causes, including:
- Medication errors — If the mother is given far too much anesthesia, the anesthesia is injected in the improper spot on the spine or the anesthesia is injected too soon, these things can make it difficult for even a healthy mother to deliver an infant of normal size.
- Fractures and forceps — When a baby has to be forcibly pulled out of the mother because the doctor underestimated the baby’s size or let labor progress until well after a cesarean section should have been performed, forceps may have to be used (which can scar a baby for life.) The baby’s shoulders can end up broken — leading to damage down the delicate nerve bundles that control the baby’s arms and a condition called Erb’s Palsy.
- Failure to perform a cesarean – It shouldn’t be up to the mother to determine when a cesarean section is necessary. She’s generally not able to judge the safety of her own baby while she’s in delivery. This means that a doctor who cannot recognize the signs of obvious stalled labor, fetal distress, low oxygen levels in the unborn infant or other last-minute problems is responsible for making the call to move the delivery out of the birthing room and into surgery.
A birth injury automatically takes what was supposed to be a moment of joy and hope and destroys it. An attorney can provide guidance if you or your child has suffered a preventable birth injury.