Birth Injuries Associated With Negligence

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2013 | Medical Malpractice

7 babies out of every 1,000 births are injured before, during, or shortly after they are born. These injuries may be the result of negligence on the part of a healthcare provider such as a doctor, midwife, or nurse.

Just imagine that birth injuries (possibly negligence caused) are higher in proportion than many other fetal birth problems. Out of every 1,000 births.

  • Birth injuries – 7
  • Infant mortality (death) – 6
  • Hearing loss – 3
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome – 1.5
  • Downs syndrome – 1.2

Could your healthcare provider have done something differently? Did the baby and mom receive timely and appropriate medical care?

Perhaps they:

  • Used Pitocin when they shouldn’t – this is a man-made hormone used to induce (start) or augment (speed) labor
  • Delayed a caesarean section too long when complications were present
  • Didn’t anticipate problems appropriately for a large baby, diabetes, or other maternal health issues
  • Failed to address fetal distress symptoms fast enough
  • There are certain risk factors that indicate an increased risk for complications. Healthcare providers anticipate these types of events and prepare for or avoid them, if possible.

    • Larger infants estimated at over 9.9 lbs. are more likely to lodge on mother’s pelvis (shoulder dystocia)
    • Infants with large heads
    • Breech – feet first in vaginal birth
    • Excessive traction/pulling on infant’s head or neck
    • Cephalopelvic disproportion – small pelvis – means the baby’s head is too big for the mother’s pelvis and not safe for vaginal birth
    • Premature delivery
    • Prolonged delivery
    • Any oxygen deprivation from compressed or twisted umbilical cord, blood loss, etc.

    Signs and Symptoms of Possible Birth Injuries

    Be aware for yourself and others. If an infant manifest any of these symptoms, there is a high risk there was some type of injury.

    • Seizure activity shortly after birth
    • NICU or any special care nursery stay
    • Need for CPR, breathing tube, or oxygen
    • Not breathing on delivery
    • Cyanotic (blue-looking) at delivery
    • Bruises
    • Organ dysfunction or failure after delivery
    • If a cool cap is applied to the infant

    Equipment used in Delivery? Used Correctly?

    Did they use forceps or a vacuum?

  • Forceps are like big pliers used to grasp and hold the baby’s head to help during a vaginal delivery
  • A vacuum is a big suction cup also used to assist in delivery
  • If they were used incorrectly, it could cause problems during labor or delivery.

  • Brain bleeding – internal (you may not know it at first)
  • Skull fractures – breaks in the skull bones
  • Facial paralysis – caused by nerve injury and pressure on face
  • Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.