Infant wrongful death can occur because of a doctor’s, nurse’s, or other medical professional’s negligence during labor or delivery. Simple mistakes made in the evaluation of the mother-to-be, or errors that occur in the midst of delivery, can be fatal for the infant. With the help of an attorney, the loved ones of the infants who died unnecessarily may be able to receive compensation for their losses.
Birth Injuries That Can Lead to Wrongful Death
Labor and delivery is an exciting—but also extremely stressful—time during which many things can go wrong. Although most obstetricians and nurses do their best to make sure every delivery is safe and successful, not all babies are born healthy, or even alive, and unfortunately, these tragedies can occur because of negligence. Some of the most common types of birth injuries that can lead to infant wrongful death include:
- Skull fractures. When a baby is large or a mother’s body isn’t able to accommodate delivery, the baby is put at risk. When a baby become stuck in the birth canal, doctors often use tools to help with extraction. One of the most common instruments are forceps. Shaped like salad tongs or large spoons, forceps are placed around the baby’s head and used to pull the baby from the mother. If the doctor is too forceful, he can inflict damage to the baby. In rare cases, the forceps can actually fracture the baby’s skull, which can cause death. The doctor could be found negligent if it is proven that he used the forceps incorrectly or that he should have performed a Caesarian section instead of attempting to deliver with the help of forceps.
- Oxygen deprivation (hypoxia). Babies can lose the oxygen they need to survive while in the womb and during delivery. Doctors and nurses can monitor the amount of oxygen babies receive while in their mothers, but it can be difficult to do so during the actual delivery. The stresses of the delivery are enough to cause the decrease in oxygen, as is the umbilical cord wrapped around the baby’s neck and problems with the placenta. Oxygen deprivation can also occur if the baby becomes stuck in the birth canal. Lack of oxygen during delivery can lead to a variety of different problems for the baby, including brain damage and infant death. A doctor could be found guilty of wrongful death due to hypoxia if he is believed to have acted in a negligent manner during the delivery, or if he failed to perform a C-section that could have saved the baby’s life.
Proving Wrongful Death
Proving that the doctor or nurse’s negligence caused the death of your infant can be complicated, but with the help of an attorney, it may be possible. A variety of factors are needed to prove a wrongful death, including that the medical professional breached his or her “duty of care,” which is an obligation the doctor or nurse has to treat a patient with reasonable care. In other words, that he or she acted with the watchfulness, attention, care, and prudence that any other reasonable person in the same situation would have used. For example, if it is believed that any other doctor would have performed a Caesarian section because the situation deemed that such a surgery was necessary, but your doctor didn’t and your infant died as a result, he could be found guilty of wrongful death.
Hold the Doctor or Nurse Responsible for Your Infant’s Death
Losing an infant because of a doctor’s negligence is devastating. Although filing a wrongful death claim won’t bring the baby back, it can ease some of your burdens. You may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, as well as pain and suffering, and the attorneys of Wayne Wright may be able to help. Schedule an appointment to speak with one of our legal professionals about your situation by calling 800-237-3334.