Six ways medical negligence leads to birth defects

Six ways medical negligence leads to birth defects

Birth injuries are typically caused when a doctor fails to identify or treat an injury before, during, or after delivery. That said, most birth injuries require little to no treatment and typically heal with time.

But in more severe cases, prompt and appropriate treatment is needed to treat birth injuries. Hence, it is a no-brainer to get in touch with your gynecologist to acquire guidance and help if you think your baby is experiencing symptoms of a childbirth injury.

While some childbirth injuries are very treatable, some require life-long care and medication. That said, medical negligence or malpractice is the number one cause of childbirth injuries globally, let alone in the United States.

So, if your baby shows signs of erbs or cerebral palsy, it’s time to take your doctor to court for negligence.But, before filing a compensation claim with the local court, you must learn more about your child’s condition and the medical errors or mistakes that caused it.

With adequate information about your child’s condition and a competent attorney by your side, you’ll be well-prepared and ready for your court case.

To elaborate on this topic further, let’s discuss a few instances of medical negligence that lead to childbirth injuries.

Medical negligence that causes cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a medical condition that occurs when damage to the brain occurs during the delivery process. It typically affects the baby’s motor functions, meaning their ability to stand, maintain bodily balance, or perform movements. 

Furthermore, cerebral palsy might also cause further issues such as partial or total paralysis of the body. But, that typically depends on the severity of the brain damage during delivery. 

If your baby shows signs of cerebral or erbs palsy, you might be eligible for filinga lawsuit against medical malpractice.

As far as compensation expectations go, the average settlement amount for cerebral palsy cases is around $5 million. However, it can go up to $10 million if you prove that your family was also affected by your child’s cerebral palsy.

Medical negligence that causes brain injuries

Hundreds of newborn children succumb to brain injuries in the United States every year. However, this can happen for numerous reasons, including mistakes and complications during childbirth.

That said, a child might suffer brain damage due to skulls fractures, infections, umbilical cord issues, HIE, or jaundice.

However, skull damage is the leading cause of disabling childbirth injuries and death in the US. Skull fractures usually occur when the baby gets stuck inside the mother or is too large to be delivered through the vaginal canal.

If the doctor knows about this and continues to pull hard, the resulting pressure can fracture the baby’s skull.

Another instance of medical negligence that leads to skull damage is when a doctor or nurse drops the baby on its head after taking it from the delivery room to the NICU(neonatal intensive care unit).

Medical negligence can cause brain damage, brain hemorrhaging, seizures, stroke, and death in worse cases.

Medical negligence that causes fetal lacerations

Fetal lacerations occur when the doctor or surgeon misuses medical equipment or instruments during a C-section.

For instance, nicks and tears caused by medical devices such as forceps or scalpels can damage the child’s skin.

A few other cases of medical negligence that cause metal lacerations include; low transverse uterine incisions, emergency C-sections, inexperienced surgeons, accidentally-ruptured membranes, etc.

That said, minor cuts and knicks can be addressed and treated after the child is delivered. But, serious cases can sometimes lead to severe infections and disabling injuries such as facial paralysis in worse cases.

Medical negligence that causes spinal cord damage

Damage to a baby’s spinal cord might occur when a doctor applies too much force during the delivery process. However, spinal cord damage also happens when the healthcare professional in charge of delivery fails to identify signs of the child’s medical problems, like spina bifida, early on.

Infants who suffer from such a medical issue are at higher risk of spinal cord damage because their vertebrae are weak. If the doctor fails to identify this and pulls too hard during delivery, it might cause permanent damage to the baby’s spine, causing lifelong paralysis.

Furthermore, a few other medical negligence cases that lead to spinal cord injuries include; improper use of medical instruments like a vacuum pump, forceps, or scalpels.

Medical negligence that causes brachial plexus injuries

An infant’s brachial plexus contains nerves located inside their spinal cord and extend throughout their arms and neck. Therefore, brachial plexus injuries might occur when these nerves are damaged during the delivery process.

Generally, brachial plexus injuries happen when the doctor applies excessive force on the baby’s neck during childbirth.

Moreover, another case of medical negligence that causes brachial plexus injuries is the doctor’s failure to use aiding tools such as a vacuum pump during childbirth.

Typically, brachial plexus injuries can lead to a host of issues. However, one common medical condition caused by a brachial plexus injury is Erb’s Palsy. It is a disability that affects the baby’s ability to move their arms and hands.

Medical negligence that causes bruising and petechiae

It is well-known that childbirth is mentally and physically demanding for all healthcare professionals involved and the baby itself.

The demanding nature of delivery can lead to errors, and these errors can cause bruising, petechiae,and injuries when delivering the baby through the vaginal canal.


When your infant suffers a birth injury during childbirth, it would be best to determine if the causes were avoidable. However, never forget that medical negligence should always have some level of accountability.

So, if you think that your doctor deviated from following high care standards, hire a medical malpractice attorney and file a lawsuit against the healthcare professional involved. This will ensure that you obtain fair compensation for your and your baby’s physical and emotional suffering.


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