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How do birth injuries occur and what recourse do parents have?

| Jul 7, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

While all forms of medical malpractice affect Alaska families, birth injuries are especially devastating. Statistics show seven out of every 1,000 babies born in the U.S. suffer a birth injury.

Avoidable medical mistakes or physical trauma before, during or after the birthing process can permanently alter the lives of many children and their families.

Causes of birth injuries due to medical negligence

Medical malpractice occurs when doctors and other medical professionals fail to meet the standard of care. These individuals are trained to understand and monitor any risk factors to the mother and baby. Negligence can result during childbirth when medical professionals:

  • Fail to act promptly in emergencies
  • Wrongly diagnose or fail to diagnose dangerous health conditions in the mother or child
  • Incorrectly use birthing instruments such as vacuum extractors or forceps
  • Use unnecessary force during the birthing process
  • Fail to monitor the baby or mother after childbirth

Many complications can arise from these and other types of negligence, often resulting in long-term birth injuries that affect the child for the rest of their life.

Signs that a birth injury may have occurred

Many symptoms may emerge signaling that your child suffered a birth injury, such as:

  • An arched back while crying
  • High-pitched crying
  • Difficulty eating, swallowing or suckling
  • Low oxygen levels
  • Low heart rate
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Excessive drooling
  • Curled hand resembling a claw
  • Weak reflexes

Seizures and signs of a skull fracture should be immediately addressed as they can result in permanent brain damage.

What remedies are available to parents?

If you suspect your baby’s birth injury resulted from medical negligence, it’s crucial to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. These cases can be extremely complex, so it’s vital to work with a lawyer familiar with filing these claims.

Your attorney will work with medical experts and others to investigate what went wrong so you can focus on your family’s recovery. Remedies include compensation for current and future medical costs, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages.