When a Birth Doesn’t Go as Planned
Having a baby is supposed a joyous occasion, but medical personnel can quickly, and unfortunately, turn a time meant for celebration into one of sadness due to possible negligence. Failure to recognize potentially harmful circumstances to baby or mother could result in injury to one or both. All medical staff members are responsible to provide medical care; therefore, mother and baby must be monitored before, during, and after the birth process to ensure they receive proper medical care.
Injury to the Baby
Examples of injuries that could occur to infants during the birth process include not getting enough oxygen or improper use of forceps. Not getting enough oxygen may result in perinatal asphyxia and sometimes cerebral palsy. Misusing forceps may, for instance, cause facial palsy, swelling and/or bruising of the baby’s head, or even brain damage.
Other injuries could be caused if a doctor doesn’t recognize risks, such as breech position, sharp fluctuations in the mother’s blood pressure that can affect the baby, or a long past due date. Trying to deliver with the baby in a breech position could fracture bones, sharp changes in blood pressure cause stress, and inhaling meconium is sometimes caused by allowing too much time to elapse from the set due date.
Injury to Mother
Mothers are also at risk for injury before, during, and after birth. Some conditions, such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, and anemia if undiagnosed or left untreated can affect the mother’s and baby’s health. Forceps may cause tears and lacerations to the mother’s genital area, injure the bladder, or result in chronic pain. After delivery, the mother may develop complications if too much blood is lost.
If negligence is proven, damages can be awarded under two different types: monetary compensation and non-monetary compensation. Examples of monetary compensation are the tangible forms that include the cost of medical expenses and lost wages while recuperating or having to care for the baby. Future potential costs may also be figured in, as well as costs to care for an injured child throughout his or her life depending if disability occurred as a result of medical negligence. Costs incurred because of a disability may include remodeling or purchasing a house with handicap adaptations, and specialized vehicles for transportation. In the extremely unfortunate event of a death occurring, funeral costs may be granted.
Non-monetary compensation may be awarded for actual pain and emotional anguish caused to family members to bear because of the birth ordeal. These may also be awarded for unseen future suffering that may have to be endured due to the birth injury(ies).
Every state has its own personal injury laws under which child birth medical claims would fall. Therefore, it’s usually an advantage to seek out legal advice from a lawyer rather than trying to navigate complex laws on one’s own. Lawyers knowledgeable and experienced in medical negligence are the most likely candidates to help injured parties evaluate their cases on an individual basis and receive a fair settlement.