Was My Child's Birth Injury Preventable?

By Younker Hyde Macfarlane on January 08, 2020


Medical monitoring device attached to newborn baby's wrist A birth injury can have devastating and lifelong consequences, especially when the injury was preventable. A birth injury attorney can help hold negligent medical professionals responsible for preventable injuries and get families the financial compensation they deserve.

At Younker Hyde MacFarlane, PLLC, our attorneys work closely with clients and specialists to help families affected by birth injuries recover damages for their suffering. If you have asked yourself if your child's birth injury was preventable, our Salt Lake City, UT, attorneys can review the details of your child's injury to determine if pursuing legal action is right for your family.

Causes of Birth Injuries

Sometimes birth injuries are not preventable and happen without anyone being at fault. Unpreventable injuries may occur as a result of circumstances such as premature delivery or the size and shape of a mother's pelvis.

Other times, injuries may occur because of the negligence or poor decisions of a doctor or other medical professional. Preventable birth injuries may be caused by such negligent acts as:

  • Failure to monitor the baby for signs of distress before or during birth
  • Failure to monitor the baby's heart rate
  • Failure to properly use forceps, vacuum, or other delivery tools
  • Failure to provide a cesarean section when medically indicated
  • Failure to detect infection or other complications in the mother or baby

Types of Birth Injuries That May Be Preventable

Although not all birth injuries in Salt Lake City are preventable, injuries that are caused by the inaction or negligent actions of a medical professional may have been prevented if properly handled.

The following birth injuries are just a few that may be preventable when caused by medical errors and negligence.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy can affect muscle control, coordination, and balance. Cerebral palsy may occur as a result of medical malpractice. Cerebral palsy caused by medical malpractice is usually the result of oxygen deficiency to the baby's brain during labor or after birth.

Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia happens when the baby's shoulders are unable to pass through the birth canal and the baby must be significantly maneuvered in order to be delivered. While this can be done safely, when a baby is aggressively manipulated or left unaided, it can cause serious injury or death to the baby.

Erb's Palsy

Erb's palsy is a condition characterized by a loss of motor function in an arm. As a result, the arm may be limp or a baby may not be able to grip objects. Erb's palsy can occur if a baby's neck is stretched too far during birth so that the cranial nerves in the neck, which control feeling and movement in the hands and arms, becomes damaged.

Brain Damage

Brain damage may occur during birth or prior to birth. Brain damage may be caused by infection, physical trauma to the baby when he or she is delivered, or untreated jaundice. Brain damage may not be immediately apparent as it can take several months or years for associated symptoms, such as developmental delays, to appear.

Contact a Birth Injury Attorney

If you believe your child's birth injury is the result of medical malpractice, you are encouraged to call (801) 335-7025 to schedule a consultation with our Salt Lake City birth injury attorneys. Our team will work with you to determine the best course of action for your case.

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