Negligence at Birth: What Constitues Negligence?

Negligence at birth occurs much too often. The result is typically birth injuries the infant sustains, and can sometimes end in the death of the infant. When an infant sustains birth injuries, parents can often find themselves confused; unsure of whether or not their baby was injured because of negligence.

Common Types of Negligence

Some of the common types of negligence which cause birth injuries include:

  • Physician's Failure to Anticipate Cephalopelvic Disproportion – This is a condition in which the infant is too large to be accommodated properly by the mother's birth canal. Physicians who pay close attention to the pregnancy progression should be able to anticipate this and act to prevent an issue.
  • Physician's Failure to Act Quickly in an Emergency – When there is an emergency, such as infant bleeding, irregular heartbeat, distress, umbilical cord entrapment or other issue. The physician should be prepared at all times to react to an emergency situation and failure to do so is considered negligence.
  • Failure to Order a Cesarean Section – When a mother or infant is in distress and a cesarean section is the best choice, a physician should be prepared to make that call and follow through with it. Failure to do so can result in serious injury or trauma, and is considered negligence.
  • Misuse of Forceps or Vacuum Extractor – In some cases, the forceps or vacuum extractor must be used. During difficult deliveries, these tools should be used with the utmost care. If birth injuries are caused because a physician misuses these tools, it could be considered negligence.
  • Inappropriate Use of Pitocin – Pitocin is a hormone which is often administered to women to speed up labor in certain situations. If this hormone is misused and is a direct result of birth injuries or trauma, it can be considered negligence.

Determining Negligence During Child Birth

It can be very difficult for parents to deal with birth injuries or traumas. On top of that, trying to determine whether they had a negligent medical care provider is very stressful. One way parents can receive help is to speak to a medical malpractice attorney. He or she can help determine whether the physician was negligent and can help the parents proceed with legal action if negligence is detected.

Seeking a Remedy for a Negligent Child Birth

Medical malpractice is a very serious topic. When a woman chooses a physician, she entrusts him or her with the life of her infant as well as her own life. When the physician takes the woman as a patient, he or she becomes responsible in a way – both for their medical decisions and for the safety of the woman and her infant. When negligence has occurred, victims can seek compensation which will help pay for additional medical care needed, pain and suffering, and more. A medical malpractice attorney can help victims understand what negligence is, how the physician was negligent and what steps to take next in order to seek legal action.