Doctors make mistakes. Some of these mistakes are minor and do not cause injury to a patient, but others cause grievous harm and can lead to permanent injury or death. Although women have been giving birth to babies for centuries, a number of problems can arise and if the attending physician does not respond appropriately birth injuries can result. That is the claim of a family who filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the attending physician who delivered their baby and the clinic and hospital involved. This story did not originate out of New York it unfortunately, is not a story unique to any one area.
The story begins in mid-October of last year, according to the lawsuit filed in early May of this year. The mother had received prenatal care by the defendant named in the suit and when she went into labor, the doctor attempted to deliver the child vaginally, at least initially. Complications came about and the doctor failed to order a C-section soon enough. This delay caused the baby some harm and when the C-section was eventually performed the infant sustained further injuries.
The doctor chose to use a vacuum extraction technique that comes with some risk as suction is applied to the baby’s head. This technique is normally used in a vaginal delivery and if not done properly, it can cause the infant’s skull to fracture or his brain to hemorrhage. It can also cause injury to the child’s clavicle, scalp or brachial plexus nerves among other birth-related injuries. Because of these risks, vacuum extraction should only be used when absolutely necessary in an emergency and it is very rarely used in a C-section delivery.
After being born with a number of birth injuries, the newborn died the following day after succumbing to those injuries, according to the lawsuit. The suit claims the doctor’s negligence and medical malpractice were to blame for their child’s birth injuries and subsequent death. A delayed C-section can cause a number of problems, including brain damage as the unborn child could be deprived of needed oxygen. Other common causes of birth injuries include too much pressure being applied to the infant’s neck, shoulder or arms causing nerve damage and cerebral palsy, among other medical complications.
Source: Injury Lawyer News, “Death of Newborn Leads to Birth Injury Lawsuit,” Tracy Ray Nov. 25, 2012
Our Queens, New York personal injury law firm helps families injured through medical malpractice, including birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, similar to the story discussed in the above post.