Much like a Pennsylvania mother-to-be cannot control when her baby comes unless she has a planned C-section, a mother-to-be cannot always expect her baby to be delivered healthy and unharmed — even though that is her hope and intention. Thus, parents to be must always be prepared for possible complications during the labor and delivery process. Moreover, parents should also consider the unfortunate possibility of an error during delivery occurring, thus causing a traumatic birth injury to their infant.
A birth injury occurs when impairment to an infant’s body function or structure arises due to an adverse event happening at birth. A birth injury could occur during labor, delivery or after delivery, which is especially true in cases where a newborn requires resuscitation in the delivery room.
The spectrum of birth injuries is wide-ranging from minor and self-limited problems to severe injuries that could result in significant disability or even mortality. The risks following a birth injury can range greatly as well.
But, in most cases, these risks will impact the health and wellbeing of the newborn. If the injury is to the spinal cord, this could present serious long-term risks for the infant. Moreover, parents will likely have to endure the costs associated with long-term care for this disabling injury.
Whether a birth injury causes short-term or long-term pain and suffering, parents should be fully aware of their rights and options after their newborn suffers a traumatic birth injury. To begin, parents should understand how this incident occurred and who is liable.
In most cases, several medical professionals are assisting with the labor and delivery process. This means that various medical professionals could be held accountable for the harm caused to a newborn.
If negligence is the cause of a birth injury, the liable party could be held accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit. This legal action could help parents recover compensation, helping them cover medical expenses and other costs associated to the birth injury.
Source: Uptodate.com, “Neonatal birth injuries,” accessed Oct. 20, 2016