Can a doctor’s mistake cause both birth defects and birth injuries?

Birth-related medical malpractice happens when a medical professional or a hospital fails to use reasonable care during a woman’s pregnancy and the labor and delivery of her child. When anyone on the medical staff acts negligently, it can cause a birth defect and/or a birth injury that may affect a child for the rest of his life. 

Birth Defects and Medical Negligence

Every 4.5 seconds, a baby with a birth defect is born in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A birth defect is a structural change that occurs at birth and can impact almost any part of a baby’s body. This change may affect how the body part looks, functions, or both. It can last a lifetime or even end in death.

One common birth defect is cerebral palsy, and a child with this condition will typically have difficulty controlling muscle motion. A newborn may suffer from cerebral palsy for a variety of reasons, including not getting enough oxygen flow to the brain (referred to as hypoxia) or enough oxygen to the body (referred to as asphyxia). Umbilical cord problems and excessive hemorrhaging during pregnancy or delivery can also cause cerebral palsy. Often, a doctor’s mistake or series of mistakes is the cause of a birth defect that could have been prevented.  

Birth Injuries and Medical Negligence

Birth injuries can also be caused by medical negligence. These injuries include:

Some of these may result from an unavoidable complication, but most occur because a doctor:

  • Uses excessive force to pull or rotate the baby
  • Uses extraction tools improperly such as forceps or a vacuum
  • Fails to monitor the vital signs of the fetus or mother, or both
  • Fails to give a cesarean section when necessary
  • Gives the wrong dose or wrong medication

A Team Committed to Your Case

If you believe a doctor, nurse, or other medical staff member injured your baby or is responsible for a birth defect, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney. At the Holton Law Firm, we want to put our combined years of experience to work for you. To begin a conversation with a member of our team, contact us today.