Childbirth can be a moment of profound joy, but it is also a moment of risk and vulnerability. In Canada, about five babies die per 1,000 live births, and several more experience serious injuries during the birthing process. In these tragic circumstances, an experienced obstetrical malpractice lawyer can help your family find closure.
What is Obstetrical Malpractice?
The term ‘obstetrics’ refers to the branch of medicine and surgery relating to pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Obstetricians, often referred to as OB/GYNs, provide medical care throughout the pregnancy, including during labor and delivery. Obstetrical malpractice includes errors or moments of negligence occurring during this sensitive period.
Types of Obstetrical Malpractice
Obstetrical malpractice can take many forms and may occur during pregnancy, delivery, or recovery from the birth. Instances of obstetrical malpractice include:
- Incorrect administration of medications or treatments
- Providing inaccurate or incorrect advice during pregnancy
- Failure to monitor, detect, or treat maternal infections
- Failure to identify or treat prolapsed umbilical cord
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of other injuries or illnesses
- Anesthesia errors
- Surgical negligence during Caesarian section operation
- Improper use of birth-assisting tools
Injuries from Obstetrical Malpractice
Obstetrical errors can have lifelong consequences. Seriously injured infants may experience physical and mental developmental challenges; some require lifelong care and support. Common obstetrical injuries include:
- Birth asphyxia, which occurs when the infant’s brain is deprived of oxygen. This injury can be caused by umbilical cord issues, maternal bleeding, abnormal birth presentation, and a variety of other issues. It can cause brain damage leading to cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and other disabilities.
- Brachial plexus injuries, which are injuries to the column of nerves that control movement and sensation in the arms and hands. These injuries are most often caused by compression inside the womb or during delivery, and can cause long term issues including Erb’s palsy (weakness or loss of motion in the arms); Klumpke’s palsy (weakness or loss of motion in the forearms, hands and fingers); reduced balance, coordination, and stamina; joint dysfunction; discrepancy in limb length; and impaired bone growth, among others.
- Lacerations, bruises, broken and fractured bones
Pursuing an Obstetrical Malpractice Claim
Injuries during childbirth can cause serious, long lasting health issues. In some cases, the child may require lifelong support and medical attention. These services can be extremely costly; in these situations, an obstetrical malpractice lawyer can help the family recover compensation to address these significant financial challenges.
In order for an obstetrical malpractice claim to be successful, the plaintiff must prove that they were owed a duty of care by the obstetrician; that they incurred demonstrable damages; that the obstetrician failed to provide a reasonable duty of care; that the obstetrician’s breach of this duty of care was the proximate cause of the damages; and that the results of the breach were reasonably foreseeable.
Contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a member of your family has been affected by obstetrical malpractice, contact Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced obstetrical malpractice lawyer. Our team will assess your claim, explain the next steps, and provide guidance and support throughout the legal process.