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How do you know if a birth injury is preventable?

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Birth Injuries

While some birth injuries are unavoidable, many of them result from the carelessness of obstetricians or any medical staff directly or indirectly involved in the delivery of babies. Understanding whether a birth injury is preventable or not plays a vital role in bringing a medical malpractice case to pursue compensation for injuries and losses.

Determining whether a birth injury was preventable involves looking into the specific circumstances and standard medical practices at the time of the birth, which can include the following:

Adequate prenatal care

Doctors must regularly monitor their patients during pregnancy to help identify potential risks and conditions that could lead to complications during delivery. Failure to properly and timely monitor such risk could lead to complications during labor and delivery.

Labor and delivery monitoring

Throughout labor and delivery, medical practitioners should regularly monitor the fetus’s heart rate and the mother’s condition. Deviations from normal patterns can indicate distress and may require prompt medical intervention to prevent injury.

Prompt and appropriate response to complications

Health care providers must be prepared to address complications that could arise during delivery, such as fetal distress and displaced umbilical cord, which are always a possibility during childbirth. They must do so while following established medical protocols. Delays or inappropriate responses can lead to preventable injuries.

Proper use of medical equipment

The misuse of birthing equipment, such as forceps or vacuum extractors, is a common cause of birth injuries. Hence, medical practitioners must carefully decide whether the use of such equipment is necessary given the situation and, if so, use it skillfully to minimize the risk of injury.

Medical staff competence

Inexperienced staff or inadequate supervision may increase the risk of preventable errors during child deliveries. Hospitals and health care institutions must adequately train their medical staff in proper birthing protocols.

In medical malpractice resulting in birth injuries, courts will assess whether the healthcare providers acted within the accepted medical standard of care. If it is found that they failed to meet the same and it resulted in an injury, then the injury can be considered preventable.

If you are unsure whether the birth injury in your case was preventable or not, you may find clarity by discussing your situation with an experienced medical negligence attorney.