Mistakes By Florida Health Care Providers Can Cause Serious Birth Injuries
When you have spent nine long months anxiously awaiting the arrival of your child, it is heartbreaking to learn that your infant suffered trauma or other complications during the delivery process. Unfortunately, birth injuries occur far more frequently than you expect. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are more than 20,000 infant deaths nationwide every year. Though some fatalities are related to defects and related medical conditions, accidents are among the top three reasons for fatal birth injuries.
If your baby suffered trauma during delivery or labor, you may qualify to recover monetary damages under Florida medical negligence laws. The key to success with your claim is being able to prove that a physician’s acts deviated from the standard of care that applies to OB-GYNs and similar specialties. Your Tampa medical malpractice lawyer will tackle evidence issues related to the top mistakes that lead to serious birth injuries, including:
Negligence in Fetal Monitoring
The infant is extremely vulnerable when making the transition from the uterus to the outside world, and the delivery process itself is exceptionally traumatic. Health care providers must properly monitor the baby’s vital signs, particularly oxygen levels and heart rate, for signs of distress. If staff do not constantly assess important indicators and take appropriate, timely action, the infant could be deprived of oxygen and suffer long-term brain damage.
Excessive Force in Delivery
During a difficult delivery, a physician may assist manually in guiding the fetus down the birth canal. Too much force may cause a brachial plexus birth injury. Excessive pulling of the shoulders may lead to stretch or tears of the nerves running down the baby’s neck, shoulders, and arms. The condition may lead to a form of paralysis termed Erb’s palsy, in which the affected arm is weak, paralyzed, or deformed. Too much pressure on the neck and shoulders can also cause collarbone fractures.
Improper Use of Birth-Assisting Equipment
In some difficult deliveries, physicians may rely on such equipment as:
- Forceps: This equipment resembles a tongs-like device with loops on each side, and it is used to gently turn or pull the baby’s head to ease delivery.
- Vacuum Extractor: Instead of using physical pressure to guide the infant down the birth canal, this device uses carefully controlled suction.
Failure to use these birth-assisting devices properly can cause facial paralysis, brain damage, hemorrhage, and swelling of the scalp.
Not Ordering a Timely C-Section
When the baby is being deprived of oxygen, every second counts. Doctors must make the right call promptly and take quick action to perform a C-section, since delays can result in cerebral palsy.
Consult with a Florida Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice Lawyer About Your Rights
It may come as a comfort to know that you have legal remedies under Florida law, but you will need skilled legal help in getting the compensation your family deserves. For more information on birth injuries, please contact Greco & Wozniak P.A. in Tampa, FL. You can call 813.223.7849 or visit us online to set up a complimentary case assessment.