Expectant parents want to believe that their babies will come into the world healthy and without incident. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. According to research conducted by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Service Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the rate of birth trauma/neonatal injuries in the United States was 1.9 per 1,000 live births in 2012. This is an improvement from 2004, when the rate was 2.6 per 1,000.
Some of the most common birth injuries that can lead to infant wrongful death include skull fractures, hemorrhages below the scalp, cerebral hemorrhages, and lack of oxygen. Although doctors and nurses typically do what they can to ensure that deliveries are safe and babies are healthy, some mothers-to-be and their unborn children have certain risk factors that increase the chances of infant wrongful death due to birth injuries. Risk factors include:
- The size of the baby. Babies who are abnormally large are at risk for receiving potentially fatal injuries during birth. This condition, called fetal macrosomia, applies to infants who are heavier than 8 lbs. 13 oz. According to information provided by the Mayo Clinic, about 9 percent of babies born worldwide have fetal macrosomia. This condition is thought to be genetic, or caused by problems the mother has while pregnant, such as diabetes or obesity. In some cases, the large size of the baby is unexplained. Macrosomia puts babies at risk for birth injury, as delivery can be quite complicated. Large babies can become stuck in the birth canal for long periods of time. Being in a tight space can compress the brain, which can lead to death for the baby. This tragedy may be avoiding by delivering the baby via a Caesarian section.
- The size of the mother. The size and shape of the mother’s pelvis can also play a role in the delivery. Cephalopelvic disproportion is a condition in which the mother’s pelvis is too small to allow the baby to exit. This condition can cause prolonged labor, as the delivery can fail to progress and the baby can become lodged in the pelvis. This may force the doctor to pull aggressively on the baby to get him out, or use instruments like forceps and vacuum extractors to get the baby out. Again, spending too much time in the tight canal can compress the baby’s head, and instruments like forceps can cause fatal skull and brain damage. If the doctor is aware of the condition before delivery and encourages the mother to have a natural birth instead of a C-section, he may have acted negligently.
- History of early deliveries. Expectant mothers who have gone into preterm labor have a chance of doing it again with all subsequent pregnancies. Babies who are born before 37 weeks gestation face a variety of potential health hazards, some of which are life-long, including vision and hearing impairments, and lung disorders. Going into labor before 37 weeks also puts babies at risk for fatal birth injuries, such as caput succedaneum (swelling under the scalp), oxygen deprivation, and fractures. If the doctor fails to treat you for the possibility of preterm labor appropriately, or acts negligently during the delivery, he may be to blame for the infant wrongful death.
Seek Compensation for Your Infant’s Wrongful Death
Along with the heartache of losing an infant, parents also often experience financial difficulties because of it. Hospital care, medications, and even time lost from work because of your grief can result in a large amount of debt. With the help of an Austin wrongful death attorney, however, you may be able to receive compensation that can help you with the hardships, as well as other damages associated with wrongful death. The attorneys of Wayne Wright may be able to hold the doctor, nurse, or hospital that is responsible for your infant’s death accountable for the negligent actions. Schedule your appointment to speak with a legal professional about your situation by calling 800-237-3334 and find out what we can do for you.