The birth of a child can be a family’s happiest experience. Unfortunately, 1 out of every 100 babies born in the United States will have some form of birth injury, potentially leaving them with life-long disabilities and the need for rehabilitative care.
Although natural factors can cause birth injuries, many birth injuries happen due to negligence or malpractice by physicians, delivery nurses, or hospital staff. Birth injuries caused by medical malpractice are avoidable, and the parents and child affected have the right to seek compensation for the harm their doctor’s negligence caused to their child.
If you or your baby suffered injuries from medical malpractice during pregnancy or birth, contact the experienced, knowledgeable birth injury attorneys at Fieger Law. We can help you understand your rights and hold irresponsible medical staff accountable for their actions.
Birth Injuries vs. Birth Defects
Birth injuries and birth defects are different causes of adverse outcomes at birth. Birth defects, also called congenital disabilities, are common structural differences in a baby’s body, usually caused by a genetic condition in either the baby or the mother.
Birth injuries are not caused by genetics; they are injuries to the mother or baby during the birthing process. Some birth injuries may occur naturally, but many are due to medical negligence or malpractice. For example, if a physician doesn’t respond to fetal distress appropriately, the baby may suffer oxygen loss resulting in cerebral palsy.
Contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Fieger Law if you suspect your doctor’s action or inaction led to your child’s birth injury. We can review medical records and other evidence in your case to determine if medical malpractice caused harm to you or your child.
Risk Factors for Birth-Related Injuries
There are several risk factors for birth-related injuries, but many are preventable with proper medical care. The following factors may increase the risk of birth injury if your medical provider does not take appropriate action:
- Size of Mother & Baby: Babies over 8 pounds 13 ounces often have a higher chance of birth injuries. The size of a mother’s pelvis, particularly if it is smaller than usual, could also increase the likelihood of injury.
- Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a blood pressure disorder that can present during pregnancy. It can result in fetal size restriction in babies and seizures or organ failure in mothers. If you have preeclampsia, your doctor must monitor and treat your condition carefully before, during, and after delivery to prevent injury.
- Maternal Infections: Untreated maternal infections can lead to neurological issues like brain damage or blindness in the baby. To prevent a possible birth injury, your doctor must diagnose and treat harmful infections such as listeria, group B streptococcus (GBS), and human papillomavirus (HPV).
- Instrumental Deliveries: The improper use of obstetric forceps or a vacuum extractor to assist in delivering a baby can lead to birth injuries, including broken bones, skull fractures, hemorrhaging, and even brain damage or death.
- Pitocin: Pitocin is synthetic oxytocin used to induce labor. It can help encourage cervical dilation and speed up births when correctly used. However, improper use can result in potentially fatal fetal distress, decreased fetal heart rate, and uterine ruptures.
- Epidural: An epidural can be safely used to reduce or eliminate pain associated with childbirth. However, an epidural can cause a baby to have breathing issues, urination problems, and a low APGAR score if administered incorrectly.
- Gestational Diabetes: Gestational diabetes occurs in between 2% and 10% of pregnancies in the U.S. If a mother has gestational diabetes, extra care needs to be taken as the baby will be at a higher risk for high birth weight and shoulder dystocia. Doctors should advise mothers-to-be on managing blood sugar levels with diet and exercise.
While all these factors can lead to birth injuries, proper medical care can mitigate or prevent harm to you and your child. If your doctor doesn’t account for these conditions or doesn’t use the approved standard of care to ensure the safety and health of you and your baby, you may have a malpractice case.
Contact Fieger Law to speak with our medical malpractice attorneys if you’ve suffered from mistreatment by a delivery doctor or nurse. Our lawyers will review your case to look for risk factors that demonstrate medical negligence caused your birth injury.
How Do I Know If My Child Was Injured Due to Medical Malpractice?
The best way to know if your child’s injuries are due to medical malpractice is to understand the signs of common birth injuries. If you notice these signs in your baby, you can work with an experienced birth injury lawyer to investigate the damage and the possible medical negligence that caused the injury.
Signs of birth injuries in infants:
- Low heart rate during delivery
- Swelling, bruising, abrasions, or broken bones from delivery
- Seizures following delivery
- Breathing issues following delivery
- Excessive crying or abnormal grunting
- Inability to lift their head while lying on their stomach
- Difficulty eating, crawling or walking
- Missed developmental milestones
- Intellectual delays
- Diagnosis of Erb’s palsy or cerebral palsy
If your baby shows signs of a birth injury, contact the Michigan birth injury attorneys at Fieger law. We can help you investigate your case, prove that you or your child’s injuries are due to malpractice, and help you seek compensation to cover ongoing medical expenses.
Our Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Michigan Can Help
Fieger Law believes in helping families affected by medical malpractice hold negligent providers responsible for their actions.
Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys have won hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for families around the country who need justice in their medical malpractice cases. In 2011, we helped a birth injury client receive a $144.5 million settlement, the largest birth injury award in the U.S.
If you believe you or your baby was the victim of medical negligence or malpractice, call Fieger Law for a free consultation today to start your case and get you the compensation your family deserves.