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What birth injuries are and what causes them

The mother's health is not the only person's put at risk during childbirth. Instead, the baby is exposed to just as much, if not more, risk of injury or death than their mother is. In fact, each year in the United States, as many as five out of every 1,000 babies born here suffer a birth injury.

Birth injuries are any instances in which a baby is harmed physically, internally or psychologically during childbirth. They generally happen in one of two different instances.

A baby may be born with a birth injury after having been harmed while still in the womb. This most often occurs when a mother was prescribed or administered a medication that posed some unknown risks to the developing fetus. In this case, both the doctor and pharmaceutical company may be be held civilly liable for any injuries a baby suffers, especially if it can be proven that they knew of the risks it posed.

In another instance, a doctor may fail to properly diagnose or treat a preexisting medical condition, something that makes mom's pregnancy particularly high risk, and gives way to an even more problematic birth. One example of this type of oversight might be a physician failing to deliver a baby via cesarean when it might be most appropriate because the baby is particularly large or in some type of distress.

Additionally, a doctor may have used a vacuum or forceps inappropriately or failed to diagnose a mother's gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. These may have put both the mother and baby's lives at risk. In cases such as this, the doctor, the practice where he or she works and the hospital where your baby is born may all be held liable for your baby's injuries.

If you suspect that the quality of your prenatal care or the approach used to deliver your baby resulted in his or her injuries, then a Chicago medical malpractice attorney can advise you of your right to seek compensation in your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Birth injury overview," accessed Oct. 19, 2017

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