One of the most joyous occasions in a person’s life is the birth of their child. Future plans are envisioned and the arrival of a healthy newborn is anticipated. However, sometimes complications arise during labor and delivery, resulting in the baby suffering serious and permanent injuries. Parents are left dealing with this tragedy, wondering if there is any way these injuries could’ve been prevented.
The truth is, birth injuries are often preventable. Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers are trained to anticipate health issues and to immediately resolve them to ensure the safety of both the mother and the newborn. In situations in which the standards of care are not followed, the resulting injuries are derived from negligence.
The following are common examples of preventable birth injuries:
- Failure to diagnose or treat an issue either before or during labor and delivery. Whether the situation is high blood pressure (preeclampsia) or the baby’s head is too large to fit through the mother’s pelvis (cephalopelvic disproportion), these problems can be identified earlier to resolve the complication.
- Failure to monitor a labor and delivery properly. In many cases, nurses and obstetricians to pay proper attention to fetal monitors or inadequately interpret monitor tracings, causing the baby to suffer oxygen deprivation.
- Delayed treatment or providing the incorrect treatment. For example, failing to order or perform a necessary C-section in a timely manner.
- Failure to perform a required procedure or test. These include ultrasounds, blood tests, or brain cooling treatments.
- Improper use of delivery tools. Forceps and vacuum extractors are commonly used for difficult births. When a medical professional misuses them and it results in injury, it is considered negligence.
- Failure to inform the mother of risks and benefits of a procedure, test, or medication. A mother must be aware of the dangers associated with every aspect of labor and delivery.