Injuries During Childbirth Due to Medical Malpractice


Nothing compares to the birth of a child as a moment of genuine joy and hope for a family. Unfortunately, for some families, that moment becomes painful and sad when the newborn suffers an injury. Perinatal or delivery injuries are some of the most agonizing cases of medical malpractice because the entire life of the victim can be changed forever.

How medical malpractice results in birth injuries

Historically, the birth of a child is a moment of extreme danger for both the mother and the child. These dangers continue to exist today, but medical providers have extensive training and should be able to reduce these risks. However, when a provider does not meet the established standards of care, the risk of injury is high.

Some of the most common birth injuries include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Paralysis
  • Trauma to the head or brain of the newborn
  • Brachial plexus
  • Klumpke’s Paralysis
  • Fracture of the clavicle
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Facial paralysis
  • Stiff neck

How do you know when there is negligence?

Birth injuries can have devastating consequences for the newborn and his family. But sometimes these injuries can be avoided. When monitoring, diagnosis, treatment, and other procedures are not performed, negligence cases may result.

Some of the errors that occur during pregnancy or delivery may include:

Improper use of forceps.

While forceps may seem like a somewhat dangerous tool, in the hands of a competent medical provider, they are a safe and effective way to help the child.

However, a provider who does not use the forceps correctly can cause damage to the nerves of the neck or chest or trauma to the head.

Improper use of suction cups.

Like forceps, obstetric suction cups are sometimes used to guide the baby through the birth canal. Improper placement of a suction cup can cause significant injury to the newborn or mother.

Hypoxia is very common during labor since the baby’s brain may receive too little oxygen, usually because the umbilical cord is entangled or the placenta is damaged.

Medical providers have the necessary tools and training to detect hypoxia events well in advance, and must use these tools effectively.

Delays in approving a cesarean section.

Cesarean section or C-Section emergency operations are somewhat common, but there are certain circumstances, such as sudden drops in blood pressure or detachments of the placenta, which require this protocol as the standard of care.

A delay in ordering an emergency Caesarean section can cause serious injury to the mother and child.

Other mistakes may include:

  • Not responding appropriately to blood loss
  • Not responding to entrapment with the umbilical cord
  • Not responding to fetal distress such as irregular heartbeats
  • Not anticipating complications of maternal or baby health when there are previously known risk factors
  • Wrong dose of medications
  • Not acting quickly when the bag breaks

Depending on the type of injury, your child may need medical attention and other services for the rest of his life. These costs can be very high- and your family will need full and fair compensation to provide your child with the quality of life he/she deserves.

Legal rights for victims of birth injuries

Under Texas law, most victims of medical malpractice have a period of two years to file a lawsuit against the provider who committed medical malpractice.  However, Texas law provides an additional period of time for victims under the age of twelve, including newborns. Texas law technically states that minors under the age of twelve have until their fourteenth birthday to file a suit.  However, there is also a law that applies to a period of no longer than ten years from when the incident occurred, in certain situations.

Given the different time period limitations that may apply to your case, it is imperative that you contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Developing a solid legal case against a medical provider is not an easy task. We will need extensive research on the causes of your child’s injury, and we may need to hire outside experts to determine the effect the injury has had on your child’s future. The sooner we can start working on your case, the better.

If your child’s injury was caused by medical malpractice, P&M Law can help you. Our birth injury attorneys are dedicated to helping families hold negligent medical providers accountable. We have the experience, resources, and dedication that is required to handle these complex cases and fight for the compensation your family needs to keep moving forward with your lives.

A Perinatal Injury Lawyer From Our Law Firm Can Help Your Child, that’s why we recommend you call our bilingual staff at 832-844-6428.  There is no cost or obligation, we just want you to know your rights and legal options.