For any couple the experience of becoming parents can be truly devastating if the child is born with a birth injury; even more so, if it is due to medical malpractice. Such cases are rare, but they do happen. They are not only emotionally distressing, but also involve complicated medical and legal matters since laws and statutes vary vastly between states.

Birth injuries, though unavoidable and unpreventable at times, can be avoided to a great extent with the help of better monitoring. Cases of a possible birth injury can be detected by fetal kick counting, umbilical cord screening and heart rate monitoring. Any abnormal result can be looked for in-depth observation and analysis.

Some of the common injuries caused due to medical negligence are brachial plexus injuries, brain damage due to lack of oxygen, Klumpke palsy, cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, or in the worst cases, death of the foetus. A lawsuit can be filed by the parents if they are confident that their child’s birth injury is caused due to medical negligence.

Birth injuries due to medical negligence are mostly of two types.

  • First, if the doctor didn’t respond to a situation with proper care and assessment. For example, use of medical devices like forceps or vacuums OR not identifying preeclampsia type disorders. The doctor, the birthing team or even the hospital can face a malpractice claim for this.


  • Second, if the injury was caused before birth, like due to some adverse effect of a prescription drug given by the doctor.

Women need to pay heed to every minute detail during pregnancy and childbirth. Malpractices can be avoided by monitoring, but if they take place, it needs to be proved that the medical staff faltered on their part and didn’t take proper care.

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