A patient who enters a hospital or other medical facility to receive care expects that their doctor will deliver the best treatment possible. A pregnant mother not only expects this duty of care for herself but for her infant as well. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen. The carelessness or negligence of a physician could cause the mother and baby harm in the care leading up to birth or during labor. Here are some common examples of medical malpractice that could lead to birth defects and other injuries.
Failing to Properly Monitor the Mother and Baby
Pregnancy can present a number of complications, so doctors are responsible for monitoring the vitals of a mother and her infant prior to birth and throughout delivery to catch any threats as soon as possible. A doctor should be attentively monitoring the blood pressure of the mother and the oxygen levels of the baby, among many other vital signs. If a doctor fails to do this and the infant suffers from oxygen deprivation, for example, it may result in permanent brain damage. An attorney may help the mother of an injured baby determine whether a doctor's negligence is to blame for the baby's condition.
Prescribing Medications That Cause Birth Defects
A patient trusts their doctor to know the safety of all prescribed medications and their possible side effects or contraindications. If a physician prescribed a type of medication to a pregnant mother that resulted in deformities or birth defects, this might be a case of medical malpractice. The mother's attorney would have to prove that the doctor should have known about the medication's side effects and that a reasonable physician would not have prescribed it due to the risks.
Injuring the Mother or Baby During Delivery
Medical professionals often have to think quickly during the delivery of a baby to preserve both the mother and infant's health if anything unexpected happens. It's not uncommon for doctors to use tools like forceps or suction devices to assist with a difficult birth, or the situation may call for an unplanned surgery. If the mother or baby is injured during this process, a doctor's negligence may be to blame. A baby might suffer minor injuries like a dislocated shoulder or broken bone during a traumatic birth, or there could be severe complications that lead to lifelong disability. If an attorney can prove that the doctor made mistakes that an average medical professional would not have made, the mother might be entitled to seek damages on behalf of herself and her injured baby.
To learn more, contact a birth defect attorney.
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