When Does a Birth Injury Become Medical Malpractice?
Birth is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening occurrence, even if it is a fact of life that has occurred since the beginning of time. Fortunately, medical advances have made it possible to mitigate many of the existing dangers, even for high-risk deliveries and complications. Even so, birth injuries occur at an alarming rate in even the most prestigious medical facilities. When do these injuries transition from an unavoidable circumstance into medical malpractice?What is Medical Malpractice?
Doctors, nurses, and others in the medical field are under an obligation to treat patients to the best of their abilities. Most physicians still hold the “Hippocratic Oath” sacred, which swears they will address the patient as an individual, rather than an illness, without overmedicating but utilizing all of their skills, knowledge, and practice to treat the patient the way they would a beloved family member. Doctors experience increasing demands on their time and performance, leading to reckless mistakes and shortcuts. Medical malpractice is just that, when a doctor, hospital or other medical staff acts negligently, meaning that they fail to use reasonable care.Unavoidable or Negligence?
Although great medical advances enable doctors to save lives at an astounding rate, these changes have shown that many once-unexplained disabilities are the direct result of avoidable birth injuries. Out of every 1,000 births in the United States, approximately 6 to 8 of them experience a birth injury. While these numbers seem low, when the numbers are broken down, this means nearly three injuries every hour. Furthermore, about half of these are avoidable through proper risk planning and assessment.Birth Injury Examples
Difficult births or injuries often occur due to the size of the baby or its position during labor and delivery. However, statistically, 30% more injuries occur during tool-assisted deliveries. Some damages to the baby may include:
- Bone fractures
- Facial paralysis
- Brachial Plexus Palsy
- Caput succedaneum (scalp swelling)
- Cephalohematoma (bleeding between the skull and skin)
You have every right to ask questions if you or your baby have medical concerns before, during, or after delivery. As a parent, it is acceptable and encouraged to become your child’s advocate, as well as your own. If you believe you or your child sustained injuries due to the negligence of a hospital or medical professional, a lawyer can help get the answers you need and deserve. The attorneys at Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P. have extensive experience and are dedicated to securing the compensation owed to you. Schedule your free initial consultation today with a San Jose, CA birth injury attorney by calling (408) 289-1417.Sources