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Common Examples of Medical Malpractice that Can Lead to Birth Injuries


Some birth injuries are unavoidable, but others are caused by errors. There are many different types of medical malpractice that can lead to birth injuries, such as the following. 

Types of Medical Malpractice that Often Lead to Birth Injuries

  • Failure to monitor during pregnancy to identify any risk factors
  • Failure to properly monitor the mother and fetus during labor and delivery
  • Lack of labor preparedness and mismanagement of standard delivery procedure
  • Failure to perform a C-Section when appropriate
  • Failure to notice signs of uterine rupture
  • Failure to notice signs of fetal distress
  • Medication errors during labor and delivery
  • Failure to diagnose and treat infection
  • Mismanagement of dystocia or breech deliveries
  • Failure to detect and address problems with the umbilical cord
  • Failure to respond to cardiac complications during birth
  • Improper use of delivery assistance devices, like forceps and vacuum extractors
  • Failure to treat conditions in the newborn, such as meconium aspiration syndrome, infant respiratory distress syndrome, or jaundice
  • Failure to address and correct adverse effects from surgery or drugs, including complications from anesthesia and epidural toxicity

What Is Considered Medical Negligence During Childbirth?

If a doctor or other healthcare provider does not provide the acceptable standard of care and causes injury to a pregnant mother or child during delivery, it is considered medical negligence. Some examples of the types of birth injuries medical negligence can cause: 

  • Brain damage due to a baby not receiving enough oxygen during labor and delivery.
  • A baby suffering a skull fracture when a medical instrument is used incorrectly. 
  • Undetected or untreated preeclampsia leading to a mother seizing during delivery.
  • Medical equipment or supplies left inside a mother after a cesarean section (C-section).
  • Damage to the mother’s internal organs during a C-section.

When pregnancy, labor, and delivery are carefully monitored, these and many other birth-related injuries are preventable. 

When a Birth Injury Can Lead to a Lawsuit

The first step in determining whether a birth injury lawsuit can be pursued on the basis of medical malpractice is establishing the appropriate medical standard of care that applied to the situation. This involves demonstrating how another healthcare provider with the same training and background would have acted, explaining how the appropriate standard of care was deviated from. If there was a failure to act close to how another similarly skilled doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider would have under the same circumstances, the deviation might be deemed the legal cause of injury to the mother or baby and grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. A successful birth injury lawsuit can result in compensation for current and future medical care for the injured mother or baby, lost income while recovering or taking care of the baby, pain and suffering, and more. 

Wrongful Birth

Cases of wrongful birth involve a baby being born with unexpected congenital disabilities that could have been diagnosed during pregnancy if a physician would have completed the appropriate tests to detect them. As a result, parents can pursue a wrongful birth claim due to negligent genetic testing or negligent failure to detect impairments if they feel they would have avoided or ended the pregnancy had they known. If your child suffered a birth injury, contact our Westchester County birth injury lawyers today.