Birth injuries happen when a child suffers harm before, during, or after the birthing process. In some cases, these injuries heal with medical care and do not leave any lasting complications. In many others, children suffer permanent disabilities. Many factors could lead to birth injuries, from maternal health conditions to oxygen deprivation.
Many birth injuries are caused by the negligent actions or omissions of medical professionals like doctors, obstetricians, and nurses. If you believe that your child suffered an injury at birth, your family may qualify for legal action against the at-fault healthcare provider.
When an infant does not get enough oxygen during labor and delivery, he or she could suffer from a wide range of complications. Oftentimes, lack of oxygen can lead to brain damage and serious brain-related conditions like cerebral palsy and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
In some cases, factors like underdeveloped lungs or a prolapsed umbilical cord can lead to oxygen deprivation. Medical professionals must monitor fetal heart rate to ensure that a baby is getting enough oxygen—and to act quickly if the infant starts showing signs of distress.
Excessive Use of Force
Doctors are trained to use safe birthing techniques, but some providers can cause serious damage and trauma while delivering a baby. Medical professionals may use excessive force or dangerous tools like forceps or vacuums when removing an infant from the birth canal. Forceful pulling and twisting can cause a baby to suffer extensive nerve damage, brain trauma, or broken bones.
Delayed birth is one of the most common causes of birth injuries. A delayed birth happens when labor lasts 18 hours or longer. The longer the labor, the higher the chance of complications like fetal distress, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular problems. Medical professionals must carefully monitor both mother and child during labor to avoid these complications, and quickly deploy emergency measures like cesarean sections when necessary.
Certain maternal risk factors make an infant more likely to suffer a birth injury. For example, if a mother has a certain pelvis size or shape, the child could struggle to exit the birth canal, leading to oxygen deprivation. Maternal complications like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and infections can also put a baby at risk for serious injuries. Medical professionals must detect these maternal conditions before labor and carefully monitor the mother to avoid serious medical conditions.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit after a Birth Injury
While many birth injuries can be prevented and remedied with proper medical care, not all medical professionals are so careful. Many doctors, nurses, obstetricians, and more commit serious mistakes when treating pregnant women and delivering infants. If your child suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, you deserve justice.
By filing a birth injury lawsuit in Georgia civil court, you can recover compensation to pay for any damages related to your child’s injury, such as:
Past and future medical expenses
Rehabilitation and physical therapy
Emotional distress and mental anguish
Loss of quality of life
If you believe that you qualify for litigation against a negligent healthcare provider, you need an attorney who can fight for your family. Contact a birth injury lawyer in Augusta as soon as possible to discuss your child’s injury and identify your family’s optimal path to recovery.