Of all the effects of medical negligence, few are more tragic than birth injuries. And yet thousands of children suffer with brachial plexus injuries or cerebral palsy each year, often as a result of negligence or malfeasance during birth.

We wanted to take an in-depth look at the processes leading to birth injuries, to help our clients throughout Maryland understand what may have gone wrong and why.  While additional information is available on our website, this page will take a look at some of the more common types of pre-natal and labor-related negligence.

Failures by medical personnel

Before a child is even born, a mother-to-be has a number of steps and tests she must take for proper pre-natal care. A distracted, under-trained or negligent health care provider could fail to identify or diagnose:

  • Birth defects
  • Genetic conditions in the parents by not taking a full history
  • Contagious diseases
  • Illnesses of conditions related to the mother’s pregnancy
  • Ectopic pregnancies
  • Mediation regimens that are life-threatening to the mother or fetus

By failing to follow protocol or administer the proper tests, your obstetrician could miss the signs or symptoms of a serious condition.

Negligence During Labor

A growing number of pregnant women are electing to use midwives instead of traditional OB/GYNs. A fully trained and certified midwife has either participated in an apprenticeship with a doctor or another midwife, has gone through special schooling or is a registered nurse with additional training and certification. Without these credentials, a midwife cannot legally help you through child birth.

Liker obstetricians, midwives must meet their own standards of care. The real problems arise, however, with complicated births. A pregnant mother and her child may be at risk if:

  • The baby is too large for the birthing canal
  • The baby’s umbilical cord becomes wrapped round his or her neck
  • The baby goes into fetal distress and appropriate care is not provided

The baby could suffer a cephalohematoma, leading to a skull fracture, jaundice, anemia or increased risk of infection.

For more information about birth injuries or medical malpractice, please visit our website at www.plaxenadler.com.