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Understanding the causes and liabilities of birth injuries

Individuals and families in West Virginia understand the importance of receiving quality medical care when they are ill or require a major surgery or procedure. Medical experts such as doctors, specialists and surgeons are held to a high standard of care. They have a duty to use the utmost care when treating a patient, and if they fail to uphold this duty serious injuries or even death could occur. When a baby is being delivered, some mothers seek the expertise of the doctor of their choice to help deliver their newborn. But, if doctor error or medical negligence occurs during this procedure, a birth injury could result.

Complications can arise during the delivery of a baby. If proper care is not taken, the newborn could suffer greatly. In some cases this occurs when an improper medical technique is used during delivery. A birth injury is different from a birth defect. A birth defect is generally caused by something that went wrong during pregnancy and prior to birth. While some birth defects could be the cause of an avoidable birth injury, birth injuries are caused directly through medical errors during the birthing process.

If a medical device is improperly used, such as forceps or a vacuum, the infant could suffer head injuries or a lack of oxygen. Such occurrences could lead to permanent disabilities, such as mental, physical or emotional disorders. When these events occur during the delivery of a baby, the parents of the child should understand their rights.

Further investigation of the situation could help the parents establish the cause of the birth injury or birth defect their newborn is experiencing. This could lead to a medical malpractice claim being filed. Such a civil action could provide the parents with compensation to cover the expenses and damages associated with the incident.

While it is expected that patients will receive proper medical care, errors and instances of negligence do occur. This could lead to a worsened medical condition or additional medical problems. Those suffering from medical errors or medical malpractice should understand their options and how to address the expenses and burdens associated with the incident.

Source:, "Birth Injury Overview," accessed on Sept. 1, 2014

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