When you entrust your and your child’s care to medical professionals, you deserve evidence-based care that meets current medical standards. During labor and delivery, doctors, nurse practitioners, midwives, and other medical specialists may act in a way that endangers your life or the life of your child. If a medical professional’s care causes serious injury or death, you need an experienced birth injury attorney who can hold medical providers accountable for their negligence.
Common Birth Injuries
If a doctor handles a labor or delivery complication improperly, babies can sustain a wide range of injuries, ranging from minor bone breaks that may heal on their own to lifelong developmental delays. Common injuries for which parents may seek compensation include:
- Erb’s Palsy
- Klumpke’s Palsy
- Cerebral palsy
- Facial paralysis
- Infections and sepsis
- Umbilical cord compression
- Shoulder dystocia
- Bone breaks
- Wrongful death
When a Medical Provider’s Action or Inaction Causes a Birth Injury
In a birth injury case, the fault must be attributed to a medical provider’s action or inaction. Sometimes, a birth injury occurs when a care provider chooses the wrong type of medical intervention or performs an intervention incorrectly. Potential errors include:
- Using an inappropriate induction method or using an incorrect dosage of induction medications
- Performing a vacuum extraction or forceps delivery in a way that causes permanent damage to the baby or mother
- Incorrectly reading or reacting to medical tests or monitoring strips
- Using excessive force during delivery in a way that causes significant damage to the baby or mother
In many situations, a birth injury occurs because of a medical provider’s inaction. Medical staff may take a “wait and see” approach in response to a troubling monitoring strip or medical test, choosing to hold off on more dangerous interventions until they are unavoidable. This can be very risky for both the mother and baby—every second matter during birth, and failing to notice the signs of fetal distress can put the baby at risk of hypoxia, which leads to a wide range of lifelong disabilities. Delays can also lead to the baby getting stuck, requiring providers to take measures that may put the mother at risk of losing her fertility.
Delays can also be serious or fatal in the early stages of labor. For example, failing to notice the signs of preeclampsia and permitting a patient to continue her pregnancy can lead to the development of full-blown eclampsia, which may lead to death. A care provider may not notice low fluid levels, changes in the fetal heartbeat, changes in growth rate, or other signs that indicate an immediate need to deliver.
To assess whether or not medical malpractice has occurred, attorneys analyze the current standard of care in the field of obstetrics. They compare the actions of a client’s medical provider to the actions that any other reasonable care provider could be expected to take under similar circumstances. If a medical provider’s actions violate current standards of evidence-based care or indicate negligence, a patient may be able to recover damages.
We Help Families Seek Compensation
The effects of a birth injury can follow a family forever. If a woman loses her fertility due to a doctor’s actions, she may have substantial pain and suffering in the years that follow. A child injured during delivery may have lifelong care needs, including occupational therapy, mobility supports, and physical therapy. In each birth injury case we take on, we strive to get families the compensation they deserve. Depending on the circumstances of birth, families may be able to seek damages for:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- In-home caretakers
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income and lost wages if a parent has to leave work and provide around-the-clock care
- Housing expenses if the family needs to move to a home that is more disability-friendly
We’re Here to Help With Your New Mexico Birth Injury Case
When birth goes wrong, it can have enormous fallout for the entire family. If a medical professional is responsible for the harm suffered by you and your family, we believe they should be held responsible and we will fight vigorously to build a strong case on your behalf. Get started now by calling Doughty Alcaraz, P.A. at 505-242-7070.