Birth injuries caused by medical negligence are more common that we want to believe. Some common types of birth injuries are swelling or bruising of the head, bleeding underneath one of the cranial bones, facial nerve injury, brain injuries, and fracture of the clavicle or collarbone.
A common type of medical negligence leading to birth injuries is mismanagement of high-risk pregnancies. Pregnancy can cause conditions such as pre-eclampsia (also known as "toxemia") and placenta previa. Pre-eclampsia is marked by high blood pressure and the presence of proteins in the urine. Pre-eclampsia can be caused by a number of factors, including immune system disorders, insufficient blood flow to the placenta, and poor nutrition. It is one of the leading causes of premature births.
Placenta previa is a rare condition where the placenta covers the opening of the cervix. It is a serious condition that can also cause premature birth and an abnormally high amount of blood loss during surgery. It is critical that obstetricians recognize these risk factors and treat them aggressively to protect the health of both the mother and the baby. If the doctor fails to do this, both mother and baby are at-risk for serious complications, even death.
Another common type of medical negligence is a doctor's failure to recognize and appropriately treat fetal distress. "Fetal distress" means the signs before and during childbirth indicating that the baby is not well. Fetal distress often occurs when the baby is not receiving enough oxygen.
One of the ways a doctor can recognize fetal distress is through the use of a fetal heart monitor. If the baby's heart rate is faltering or is suspicious, it may be appropriate for the doctor to analyze the baby's blood to determine if the baby is getting enough oxygen. If the baby is not getting enough oxygen, then delivery is usually sped up through use of assisted labor or a cesarean section ("C-Section").
Fetal distress must be addressed quickly and appropriately; if it is not, then the baby may suffer a permanent brain injury.
If you or your baby was injured by potential medical malpractice, please contact Turnbull Holcomb at (404) 793-2566 for a free case evaluation.
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