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Birth Injuries — Obstetric Malpractice Claims

If your newborn child has been injured due to medical malpractice, contact the Alabama birth injury lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. today to find out how we can help you pursue a medical malpractice claim. The birth of a child is often a joyous occasion and time for celebration. When complications arise during childbirth, parents rely on medical professionals to safely deliver and care for their newborns. While the vast majority of childbirths go smoothly, medical errors by hospital staff during labor or immediately following delivery can result in serious birth injuries including cerebral palsy.

Common Medical Errors During Labor and Delivery

Overall, medical errors are responsible for more than 250,000 deaths per year in America. A 2006 study by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP), found that nearly 157,700 preventable injuries to mothers and newborns occurred during childbirth in 2006 alone.

A significant number of birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice by licensed health care providers. Some of the most common types of obstetric medical errors include:

  • Negligent prenatal care
  • Failure to diagnose or detect a condition that may place an infant at risk
  • Failure to recognize that the fetus or mother is in distress
  • Failure to monitor and timely respond to complications that arise during labor and delivery
  • Negligent use of vacuum extraction or forceps
  • Delay in performing a C-section when it is medically necessary
  • Improper administration of Pitocin, which is used to induce or speed-up labor
  • Negligent neonatal care

Common Types of Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice

According to data, approximately 28,000 birth injuries occur every year in the United States. Some of the most common birth injuries associated with medical negligence include:

  • Cephalohematoma – When blood collects between the newborn’s skull and periosteum. This can lead to complications such as jaundice, anemia, hypotension, and infection.
  • Cerebral palsy – A disorder that impacts muscle tone, movement, and motor skills caused by damage to the developing brain either in the womb or during the birthing process.
  • Perinatal asphyxia (also known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy) – When there is a deprivation of oxygen to the newborn baby’s brain and other organs during or right after childbirth. The severity of resulting injuries can vary depending on how long the asphyxia occurred. In severe cases, it can lead to death or organ failure.
  • Caput Succedaneum – Swelling or edema of a newborn’s scalp that is most likely to occur during a prolonged or difficult delivery.
  • Erb’s palsy – This is a form of brachial plexus palsy in which the infant cannot move their shoulder or arm due to nerve damage.
  • Fractures – The most common fractures during childbirth are to the clavicle (collarbone), humerus, and femur. Fractures typically occur during vaginal breech deliveries.
  • Intracranial hemorrhage – Accumulation of blood within the cranial vault, of which there are four main types–subdural, subarachnoid, intracerebellar, and periventricular-intraventricular.
  • Spinal cord injuries – Physical trauma to the infant’s neck during delivery can cause spinal cord injuries resulting in permanent nerve damage, paralysis, and even death.
  • Kernicterus – A rare, but serious type of brain damage caused by excessive jaundice.

Compensation for Birth Injuries Due to Medical Malpractice

When your newborn child is injured due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional, you may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim. Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may be able to receive compensation for:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Physical impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Medical costs
  • Punitive damages

How an Alabama Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help

Medical mistakes in the course of childbirth or neonatal care can have long-term consequences for newborns and their families. At Belt & Bruner, P.C., an Alabama birth injury lawyer will understand how devastating birth injuries can be and are committed to helping victims of medical malpractice obtain the compensation they deserve.

We have over 65 years of collective experience handling medical malpractice cases including serious injuries resulting from:

  • Hospital errors
  • Diagnosis errors
  • Surgical errors
  • Obstetric malpractice
  • Pharmaceutical malpractice

We have obtained several judgements and million dollar settlements in medical malpractice cases and we always fight for the maximum compensation possible for our clients. Contact us today at 205-933-1500 to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation with one of our skilled Birmingham birth injury lawyers.