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Scottsdale  •  Phoenix

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Common Examples of Medical Malpractice That Lead to Birth Injuries

Modern medicine should make childbirth safer than ever and birth injuries and deaths a rare occurrence. However, doctors and other health care providers make errors every day, placing mothers and their babies at risk of serious, debilitating injuries.

These mistakes can happen at any time during pregnancy or the birthing process. The following is an overview of medical negligence resulting in birth injuries. If you suspect you or your baby were a victim of medical malpractice or mistake, contact an experienced birth injury attorney in your area.

Obstetric Negligence in Prenatal Care

The risk of birth injury starts with pregnancy. Pregnant women require adequate prenatal care from an experienced obstetrician to minimize and assess risk, monitor pregnancy health and minimize labor trauma.

Negligent obstetric care can result in any of the following birth injuries to a pregnant woman:

  • Gestational diabetes. Women with no history of diabetes may develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. If left untreated, gestational diabetes can lead to high blood pressure or preeclampsia;
  • Preeclampsia. Untreated preeclampsia can cause stroke, seizure, heart failure, blindness, liver problems, and post-delivery hemorrhaging; and
  • Uterine prolapse. Uterine prolapse due to the overstretching and weakening of the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor can lead to a difficult delivery. This condition can ultimately result in pain, infected ulcers, infertility, sexual dysfunction, difficulty urinating, and rectum prolapse.

Medical Malpractice During Labor and Delivery

The risks of medical malpractice increase during labor and delivery in part due to the number of medical staff and professionals attending a delivery.

A labor and delivery team can include any of the following:

  • Obstetrician gynecologist (OBGYN);
  • Midwife;
  • Labor and delivery nurse;
  • Registered nurses;
  • Anesthesiologist;
  • Maternal-fetal doctor for high-risk pregnancy;
  • Neonatologist for premature or injured baby;
  • Pediatrician;
  • Pharmacist;
  • Medical residents or students; and
  • Hospital staff.

Labor and delivery medical malpractice takes place when a medical professional or facility deviates from the acceptable standard of care for their profession and an injury to the mother or the baby results.

Labor and delivery birth injuries may be a result of:

  • Failure to recommend a Cesarean section. In high-risk births, C-sections can prevent many common birth injuries. These include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Brain damage;
    • Cerebral palsy;
    • Brachial plexus injuries;
    • Erb’s palsy; and
    • Facial nerve damage.
  • Failure to recognize fetal distress. Fetal distress is often due to oxygen asphyxia during pregnancy or delivery. This is a medical emergency requiring an immediate, effective response; and
  • Pulling on the baby’s shoulders. An aggressive pull while trying to guide the baby through the birth canal can overstretch or tear the nerves of the brachial plexus. This can cause serious and irreversible damage.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney for More Information

If you believe any of the above are to blame for your birth injuries or your baby’s birth injuries, contact the experienced Phoenix medical malpractice attorneys at Knapp & Roberts. We can also provide you with additional information about your rights and options to recover from negligent doctors and hospitals.

At Knapp & Roberts, there is no charge for a confidential consultation. Our firm takes your claim on contingency, meaning you do not pay attorneys’ fees until we reach a settlement or secure a successful verdict.

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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.