A Pennsylvania couple has filed a lawsuit against two physicians and a hospital in regard to the death of their newborn. According to the lawsuit, the couple alleges that the physicians and the medical center were negligent in the birth of their second twin in August 2014. The child was in critical condition from birth and the hospital failed to notice that the child was struggling. The suit also claimed that the doctors and nurses did not respond to the child’s slow heart rate alarms, and then improperly delivered the child using the vacuum delivery method instead of performing an emergency C-section.
After delivery, the child was transferred to the intensive care unit where he was diagnosed with perinatal asphyxia – which is a condition that results from serious lack of oxygen to the brain. The child was on life support for two days until his parents decided to remove him.
This case highlights a growing issue in the United States: Birth injuries. While tragic, this is an unfortunate event that occurs in hospitals throughout the country – and should not occur. Birth injuries are often preventable and happen because of a physician or other caretaker’s negligence.
Birth Trauma Cases Are Growing
Injuries to an infant that result from birth complications – including the result of mechanical forces – can lead to devastating results. In the case of this couple, their child was unable to breathe on his own and had permanent brain damage. While significant injuries account for less than two percent of neonatal deaths in the country, it occurs with an average of six to eight injuries for every 1,000 births – according to Medscape. In general, larger babies are at higher risk for birth trauma and injury than underweight or average-sized infants.
Most traumas do not result in death, but they can still result in long-term complications. Some of the risk factors for birth trauma include:
- Infants that weigh more than 4500g.
- Vaginal breech deliveries.
- Abnormal or excessive traction and compression during delivery.
- Instrumental deliveries – such as vacuum, forceps, etc.
Birth Injuries and Compensation
If a child is injured during birth, parents can seek compensation for those injuries, as well as the costs associated with the injury, such as:
- Additional medical costs
- Long-term disability and medical care
- Lost wages to care for the child
- Childcare or special caretakers
- Funeral and/or burial expenses (for wrongful death cases)
Was Your Child Injured During Birth? Contact a Malpractice Attorney
Under malpractice and wrongful death laws in Connecticut, you could qualify for compensation in a malpractice lawsuit if your child is injured or dies in birth due to negligence. In the case of the Pennsylvania couple, the hospital’s staff failed to recognize the child in distress or act quickly enough to prevent serious injury or death. This is common in birth injury cases. Other types of negligence can include a failure to diagnose conditions during pregnancy, inadequate prenatal care, misdiagnosis of a large baby, botched C-section, etc.