For expecting mothers, the excitement and anticipation of childbirth is often overshadowed by worry and fear. It’s natural to be concerned about the health and safety of your baby during labor and delivery. Unfortunately, obstetrical negligence can occur during this process, resulting in severe consequences for both mother and child.
What is Obstetrical Negligence?
Obstetrical negligence is a form of medical malpractice that occurs when an obstetrician or other healthcare provider fails to provide the appropriate standard of care during labor and delivery, resulting in injury or death. This could include:
- Failing to diagnose high-risk pregnancy
- Failing to provide proper prenatal care
- Misinterpreting fetal distress signals
- Failing to order emergency C-sections when necessary
- Using excessive force during delivery
- Improperly administering medication
Data shows that between 1992 and 2014, obstetrics and gynecology had the fourth highest rate of medical malpractice at 42.5 paid claims for every 1,000 physician years (behind neurosurgery, plastic surgery and thoracic surgery).
How Does Obstetrical Negligence Affect the Baby?
When a negligent act results in newborn injuries due to medical malpractice, the baby may suffer serious long-term consequences. Babies can experience congenital disabilities such as:
- Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) - When signs of a mother’s low blood pressure or problems with the umbilical cord are unchecked or ignored, the newborn’s brain may experience a decrease in blood flow or oxygen. This could result in developmental delays or cognitive disorders.
- Cerebral palsy - This condition, which affects the ability to control muscle movement, is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the brain (like HIE).
- Spinal cord injuries (SCI) - Newborn babies may suffer SCI when a physician uses excessive force in manipulating the baby’s body, when medical instruments like forceps are improperly used or when assisted delivery methods like vacuum extractions are performed negligently.
Birth Injury Attorneys in New Mexico for Over 35 Years
At McGinn, Montoya, Love & Curry, P.A., our experienced birth injury attorneys in New Mexico understand the unique risks associated with childbirth. Our team of lawyers is dedicated to finding justice for those whose newborn suffers an injury due to medical negligence or malpractice. We are here to provide legal counsel throughout your case and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
If your newborn has sustained birth injury as a result of hospital or medical negligence, contact us today at (505) 405-4441.