Compensability of Birth Injuries
Compensation for Birth Injuries to Infants and Their Families in Pennsylvania
All expectant parents are frightened by the possibility that their child could be born with some sort of birth defect. With today’s medical innovations, unborn children can be tested for many different kinds of birth defects, allowing the parents to prepare for the birth of a child with disabilities. However, testing is not perfect, meaning children can be born with unexpected defects.
Birth Defects Compared to Birth Injuries
While some birth defects are related to drug or alcohol exposure, birth defects are, generally speaking, genetic in nature and cannot be prevented. Birth injuries, on the other hand, are a result of some act by a doctor or medical provider during the birth of a child that results in an injury. Many times, the injury to the child can be life altering and result in a need for long-term care that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because of the genetic nature of birth defects, they are not normally injuries for which compensation can be sought. Birth injuries, because of the fact that they are generally the result of the act of a doctor, can be compensable provided that the evidence is sufficient.
Common Birth Injuries in Pennsylvania
Birth injuries can take many different forms, some of which are much more serious and life-changing than others. However, the most common birth injuries include:
- Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral palsy is a condition that primarily impacts the motor functions of an individual, and is often a result of an underdeveloped brain. However, cerebral palsy can also be a result of oxygen deprivation during birth which affects brain development.
- Spine and Nerve Injuries. Spinal cord injuries and nerve injuries can occur during childbirth as a result of excessive force applied to the newborn during the birth process – either by forceps or traction used by the medical provider.
- Improper Administration of Medications During Childbirth. Mothers may be administered several different types of medications during childbirth to reduce pain, speed up, or slow down the birth process, among other things. Those medications must be administered properly and at the correct times and in the correct amounts, or risk injury to the child. When improper administration occurs, the child may be harmed severely.
- Failure to Recognize a Child in Distress. The birthing process is incredibly stressful on both the mother and the child. Active labor, the process during which the baby descends the birth canal and is eventually delivered, lasts eight hours on average, and very often longer than that. During that time, it is incredibly important for the doctors and nurses to constantly monitor the condition of the baby. If the child’s heart rate drops to dangerous levels, or if there seems to be an indication of a lack of oxygen, doctors must move quickly to deliver the child in order to avoid injury. Failing to recognize this distress can lead to injury and even death for the child.
Contact a Pittsburgh Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Birth Injury Case in Pennsylvania
Were you or a loved one injured due to a birth injury in Pennsylvania? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorneys at Berger & Lagnese, LLC are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout Pennsylvania including Butler, Cranberry Township, Erie, and Greensburg. Call us today at 412-471-4300 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at 310 Grant Street Suite 720 Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.