Inadequate medical attention can result in serious injury, especially with newborn children. Every year, around 28,000 children are born with an injury from birth. In some cases, these injuries are unavoidable, but sometimes they are the result of negligence.
Birth injury due to medication error
During pregnancy, if your doctor prescribes you a medication that can be harmful to a developing baby and the doctor doesn't warn you about the side effects, this is considered a breach of the doctor's duty of care. Depending on the circumstances, even the pharmacist who filled the prescription may be at fault.
Note: it is important to keep records of all medications that were prescribed to you during your pregnancy.
Birth injury during labor
While birth injury isn't highly common, it does happen. If your doctor does not properly examine you and your baby before labor, it can result in harm to your newborn child. Your child's injury also may not be noticeable right away. Certain injuries can take days, weeks and even years to show symptoms.
Here are some of the most common injuries:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
Injury can occur from a wide variety of improper medical practices. These include:
- Misuse of medical devices -- forceps or vacuums
- Failure to diagnose pregnancy disorders
- Failure to address your baby's health
- Labors that should have been C-sections
Many injuries occur when the baby does not receive oxygen for an extended period of time. This can cause severe brain damage resulting in certain cognitive disorders. If left untreated, injuries can worsen significantly. Doctors should address these symptoms right away.
Not all birth injuries are the result of malpractice, and in some cases certain issues could not have been predicted or prevented. However, medical malpractice is a reality. If at any point you feel that your child was not given adequate medical attention, you should speak with an experienced attorney who handles medical malpractice claims.
A birth injury lawsuit may help cover the costs of past, current and future medical expenses for your child. Such a legal claim can also help prevent more injuries and bring awareness to other expecting parents or to parents whose child has suffered a birth injury that could have been avoided.