The Dangers of Medical Malpractice During a Birth

The Dangers of Medical Malpractice During a BirthHaving a baby is meant to be a happy and joyous occasion as new life is being brought into the world. When that moment is taken from us through some measure of malpractice, there is hardly anything more devastating and enraging. Medical malpractice can lead to terrible injuries and long lasting-complications for the child. Not only can the medical practitioner’s mistake cause your child a life of struggle, but your own lives as parents will become more challenging financially and emotionally.

In 2018, parents Andrew and Kathleen Kromphardt lost their child to the medical malpractice of two medical facilities, and so filed a lawsuit. The Kromphardts’ lawyer described the incident in a news release:

the acts of malpractice committed by OBGYN Associates of Iowa City and Mercy Hospital were egregious, [and] as a result of their malpractice by improperly delivering a baby with forceps and a vacuum, and crushing his head, producing permanent brain damage. They not only destroyed the life of the little baby, Scotty, but his entire family who must care for him for the rest of his life.

After a 14-day court day trial, it took a jury only 90 minutes to agree on a verdict. A $97.4 million verdict was awarded, and is expected to be split between the two medical facilities to cover “medical care, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering” for the Kromphardt family.

While this verdict was a win for the Kromphardt family, we should point out two things. First, awards of this size are extraordinary. Second, they will never truly make up for how their life has been drastically changed. There is no amount of money that will cure their child, or protect this family from the struggles they may have to face going forward in life.

What injuries are caused by labor and delivery negligence?

There are several injuries that the baby can suffer because of labor and delivery negligence. Each of them must be treated seriously:

  • Cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is one of the most devastating injuries a child can suffer at birth. This condition may require life-long medical treatment, therapy, and other forms of medical care. Cerebral may be caused by negligent acts likes:
    • Delayed cesarean sections. Delaying delivery when the fetus shows signs of distress can cause damage for every second that passes as the infant may not be getting enough oxygen to its brain.
    • Failing to monitor known medical conditions. Certain conditions that the mother may have (such as diabetes or high blood pressure) can influence the delivery, and should be monitored during the delivery.
    • Inadequate monitoring of the mother during labor. The mother’s health is just as important as the infants, and the health of the former greatly affects the health of the latter. A medical professional needs to monitor the mother’s health as much as the child’s, lest they both suffer serious injuries.
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). HIE is the result of oxygen deprivation. It can occur at any time during a pregnancy, but is usually the result of medical negligence when it occurs during labor and delivery. Oxygen deprivation can cause permanent brain damage, resulting in cognitive disabilities, mobility issues, and more. In some cases, it can even cause a fetal death.
  • Facial paralysis. Facial paralysis is usually noticed when the baby cries after birth, as the injury may have damaged the facial nerve. This injury is sometimes caused by too much pressure being applied to the infant’s face during the delivery, but too often it is caused by the forceps used by the attending physician or medical expert. While the injury and its symptoms of partial face paralysis may heal within a few weeks, if the nerve was torn then surgery will be necessary.
  • Brachial plexus injuries. The brachial plexus is an entire network of nerves that is located in the spine and spans out down the neck and armpit. These nerves are necessary for the proper movement of your entire arm, from your shoulder to your fingers. Damage done to the brachial plexus nerves can result in several conditions. One of the main conditions is Erb’s palsy, which is chronic weakness in the arm and shoulder that can last anywhere from a few months to years, sometimes requiring steroid injections or surgery. Other neurological and functional disabilities can occur because of damage to the brachial plexus nerves as well, and if you think this applies to you and your child due to the malpractice of your medical provider, you may be eligible for your pain and suffering.

Do I need a Mississippi birth injury lawyer?

For situations such as these, it is you and your child’s best interest to seek out the advice and counsel of an experienced Mississippi birth injury lawyer. Birth injuries often result in significant financial burdens. You shouldn’t have to end up paying for any damage, physical or emotional; those who injured your child should.

If your child was injured due to the actions or negligence of the medical practitioner or hospital that was involved with the delivery of your child, then you may be eligible for compensation through filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. You should not have to pay for a lifetime of medical treatments for your child when it was someone else who caused their life-altering injuries. Your child may require you to help them eat, use the restroom, and hire special educators and medical professionals throughout their entire lives. Your love for your child has no financial equivalent, but you should not have to suffer or face more difficulties than you will already have to. At Merkel & Cocke, we have secured millions for our medical malpractice and birth injury clients.

Birth injuries affect an entire family. You deserve a Mississippi birth injury lawyer who has experience handling these types of complex cases. To discuss your legal rights, call us at 662-627-9641 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We represent clients in Clarksdale, Jackson, Oxford, and Greenville, and throughout the state, including in Tupelo and the Delta Region.