Medical malpractice arises when a doctor, hospital, nurse or other medical professional fails to provide reasonable care, i.e., acts negligently. When negligence occurs during or around the time of pregnancy or birth of a baby, it may be grounds for a birth-related medical malpractice claim. There are several situations that can bring about a birth-related medical malpractice claim. Below is an overview of the types of claims, which may be brought.
Wrongful Birth/Wrongful Pregnancy
In some states, there is a difference between a wrongful pregnancy claim and a wrongful birth claim. In Illinois, however, the state Supreme Court has held that the terms are disjunctive and are one in the same claim: wrongful birth.
In situations where parents have attempted to avoid becoming pregnant, or want to terminate a pregnancy (in states where this is permitted) and yet the attempt fails due to a doctor’s negligence, it is considered a wrongful pregnancy. The parents end up with a child they did not want to have. This is a wrongful pregnancy. Wrongful pregnancy claims usually arise when there was negligence during sterilization procedures. In the case of a wrongful birth, the parents want to avoid becoming pregnant altogether, or want to terminate a pregnancy because they have discovered that their child has a high likelihood, or near certainty, of being born with a severe disability as determined by genetic counseling. The parents end up with a severely disabled child.
Negligent Prenatal Care
During pregnancy, negligent care provided by the doctor or obstetrician can affect the baby that is in gestation or the mother, or even both. Misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose medical conditions during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, hypoglycemia or anemia can all impact the mother and the baby’s development. Similarly, a failure to identify an ectopic pregnancy in the mother, or birth defects in the baby, is negligence. Failure to diagnosis contagious diseases that the mother has that she could spread to the baby is also negligent.
Child Birth Injuries Due to Negligence
Physical injuries sustained by the mother or child during the delivery of the child is likely the result of negligence. The more common medical errors that occur during childbirth include, for example, failure to respond appropriately and immediately to fetal distress, ordering a cesarean section when it is necessary and appropriate, improper/incompetent use of delivery tools, such as vacuum extractors and forceps, as well as failing to identify or anticipate complications that could arise due to the baby’s large size, the mother’s small size, or complications involving a tangled umbilical cord.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you, your loved one, or your child has been injured during pregnancy or childbirth due to the negligence of a doctor, obstetrician, midwife, or other medical care provider and you believe that you have a birth-related medical malpractice claim, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney with the experience to get you the compensation that you deserve. Many complications can arise during a delivery, some of which can cause a brain injury to your child. Please contact us today to learn more.
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