Statistics show that in the United States, approximately 27 of every 1,000 births results in a birth injury. A study on childbirth and medical malpractice reported that the main causes of injury during childbirth are lack of oxygen in 59.8 percent of cases, bowel movement in utero in 26.0 percent, baby too large for vaginal canal in 20.5 percent, entangled umbilical in 14.2 percent as well as many other possible causes.

Another common cause of medical malpractice involving birth injury is misdiagnosis. In one study, it was found that 9.5 percent of medical malpractice cases involving birth injury were brought due to failure to diagnose and 4.7 percent involved misdiagnosis with a wrong diagnosis.

In many cases when an unborn baby and/or the mother suffer an injury during labor or the delivery process, it may have been impossible to avoid the harm under the circumstances. However, there are other situations where the course of treatment that the doctor chose may have been medically inappropriate, or proper skill and care may not have been used before or during childbirth.

When do Birth Injuries Result in Medical Malpractice?

While there are incidences where an injury occurs naturally during the course of a woman's pregnancy, when she is in the delivery room or in labor, there are also times when certain types of birth injuries are caused due to medical negligence - an error that is preventable made on the part of the doctor, nurse, or other medical staff.

When these types of preventable injuries occur, parents may be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. They can seek financial compensation to help cover injury-related expenses, pain and suffering, long-term care and other losses. When it comes to medical negligence, almost 50 percent of birth injuries are preventable. Such injuries can impact a child's life dramatically, and parents can often be left with a lifetime of expensive medical treatments and therapies, assistive devices, and other expenses.

Birth Injuries to the Mother or Infant

Although rare, there are cases where the negligence of a doctor causes injury to either the mother or infant, or both, prior to or during the birth of the baby. Some examples of malpractice that can result in birth-related injuries include:

· negligently failing to control excessive maternal blood loss post-delivery

· negligently failing to monitor the baby's oxygen intake pre-and-post-delivery

Injury to infant: If an infant is injured due to medical malpractice, the lawsuit must be brought by the parents, who act as guardians for the infant. The parents may sue the doctor for both general and special damages on behalf of the infant. For general damages, compensation includes the cost of suffering, such as physical and mental pain and suffering.

Injury to mother: If the doctor's negligence or carelessness caused injury to the mother prior to or during birth, she can bring a claim for medical malpractice. For example, when a mother has high blood pressure before delivery, it may be a sign of a condition known as preeclampsia. This condition often leads to seizures. If a doctor does not note the mother's high blood pressure before delivery and she has a seizure during delivery, the mother may have a viable claim for medical malpractice to recover for injuries that are a result of that seizure.

If your newborn child has sustained any type of birth injuries caused by medical negligence, you should contact a New York medical malpractice attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falloff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212-344-1000.

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