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Most Common Examples of Childbirth Malpractice

Most Common Examples of Childbirth Malpractice

Childbirth is a special but delicate time. Both mother and child are extremely fragile during labor and delivery. Medical professionals must take great care or risk causing an injury that can forever alter a child’s life or the life of their mother.  

Take a closer look at some of the most common types of childbirth malpractice committed by medical professionals in New York today. 

Errors Monitoring Mother and Child 

During childbirth, the mother and child are monitored for any signs of distress or problems that might occur. Failure to properly monitor for or recognize issues can constitute malpractice.  

Keep in mind that not all mistakes are considered malpractice. Only errors that rise to the level of medical negligence are considered malpractice. Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional fails to provide treatment in accordance with clear standards of medical care.  

For example, fetal heart rate monitoring is crucial during childbirth. Signs of fetal distress are directly reflected in the baby’s heart rate and patterns. If a pattern of distress is displayed and no one takes proper action, childbirth malpractice may have occurred.  

Improper Forceps or Vacuum Extractor Use 

The use of forceps and vacuums can save a baby’s life. In the hands of the right professional, they can be key in moving the child through the birth canal.  

However, these tools must be used with a high degree of skill, or the baby may suffer injury. Regarding the use of forceps, examples of the improper use of this scissor-like tool include: 

  • Unnecessary use of forceps 
  • Use of the wrong type of forceps 
  • Improper technique 
  • Improper or untrained use of forceps 

Vacuums are typically only used when they are absolutely needed. The tool involves a cup that sits on top of the baby’s head. Suction through the cup helps draw the baby out during difficult deliveries.  

As you might imagine, suction can be dangerous to the fragile skull and neck of an unborn child. As in the case of forceps, unskilled and improper use of vacuums are typical examples of childbirth malpractice.  

Errors With Medication 

Medication is an integral part of most childbirths. These medications must be properly prescribed and meticulously administered in the right dosages. Sadly, various medication errors can occur during birth, such as: 

  • Dose-Omission Errors: Failing to provide enough of a necessary medication   
  • Wrong Medication: Administering the wrong medication 
  • Wrong Dosage: Administering the wrong dose of a medication 

Other medication errors during childbirth include wrong rate errors — where the flow rate of a medication through IV is too fast or too slow — and the use of suspect or recalled medication. 

Diagnosis Errors 

During labor and delivery, medical professionals are responsible not only for the safe delivery of the child, but also for the diagnosis of any threatening health condition. Both mother and child are at risk of developing various conditions, such as: 

  • Preeclampsia 
  • Infections 
  • Perineal tears 
  • Fetal distress 

If these or other conditions are missed or misdiagnosed negligently, the medical professionals involved can face medical malpractice liability. 

Birth Injuries 

Babies and their mothers are susceptible to all manner of birth injuries. The delicate nature of childbirth demands the highest levels of care. Unfortunately, birth injuries caused by trauma, negligent monitoring, and failure to act are more common than they should be in New York. These birth injuries include: 

  • Brachial palsy 
  • Caput succedaneum 
  • Paralysis of the face 
  • Bone fractures 
  • Cerebral palsy 
  • Brain bleeds 
  • Spinal cord injury 
  • Hypoxia 

It’s important to note that many of these and other birth injuries may occur without medical negligence. In other words, the existence of these injuries is not proof of childbirth malpractice. To be considered malpractice, a negligent act or failure to act must be the cause of the injury.  

What to Do if You Suspect Childbirth Malpractice 

Childbirth malpractice is a very real phenomenon. Unfortunately for many, the mother, child, or both must contend with injuries and medical care for the rest of their lives. Because no one can turn back the hands of time, their only recourse is through the law.  

If you or someone you love has suffered the repercussions of childbirth malpractice, it is vital to contact an experienced childbirth malpractice attorney to learn about the relief that may be available to you and your family.    

Turn to a Seasoned Birth Injury Attorney Today  

Newborns and their mothers deserve the highest quality of care during childbirth. If you or your child has been harmed by medical malpractice during childbirth in New York, the dedicated team at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. can fight for the justice you deserve.  

Call us at 1-877-ASK4SAM or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation with a skilled medical malpractice lawyer today.