Medical malpractice or negligence can occur during the birthing process and result in a birth injury. The National Library of Medicine observes that medical errors are a real risk for mothers and their infants.
Some risk factors include whether the doctor monitored the fetus properly in utero, how the doctor handled complications during delivery and whether the doctor used a proper amount of restraint in delivering the baby.
Failure to properly monitor the fetus
This can include failing to detect signs of distress, such as a decrease in the fetal heart rate, during labor and delivery. Improper monitoring can lead to serious injuries such as cerebral palsy, developmental delays and early death.
A doctor or other medical professional can injure a baby by delaying its delivery past the point of no return. For example, if there are signs of fetal distress and the medical professional waits too long to perform a c-section, it can result in oxygen deprivation and brain damage.
Use of excessive force
Using instruments such as forceps or vacuum extractors incorrectly or with excessive force can lead to injuries such as skull fractures or brain damage. This type of injury can have long-term effects on a child’s development, along with the costs and stress of additional medical care that may not have been necessary.
It is important to note that not all birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice. However, if a medical professional’s actions or inaction were negligent and caused a birth injury, it may be a case of medical malpractice.