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Taking legal action after a birth injury

From painting the nursery to deciding on a name, for expecting parents the months leading up to a baby's birth are often full of excitement and anticipation. When the day finally arrives and a baby's birth is imminent, the hope is that everything goes according to plan and a baby's birth is relatively easy and free from complications. Unfortunately, this isn't always that case and when it becomes clear that a baby has suffered harm or injury, it's important to thoroughly investigate what went wrong.

While obstetricians and obstetric nurses are highly skilled and experienced when it comes to providing prenatal care, delivering babies and caring for both newborns and new mothers; they are not infallible and therefore not immune to making mistakes or errors in judgment.

For parents, it's devastating to find out that a baby suffered a debilitating injury that could have been prevented. Emotions are likely to run high and parents may feel angry and ill-equipped to deal with their new reality. Additionally, parents may feel stone-walled in their attempts to obtain answers from doctors, nurses and the hospital. For these reasons, it's wise to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney who handles birth injury cases.

Birth injuries may result from diagnostic or medication errors prior to a baby's birth or during a baby's delivery. Often, evidence of such errors are documented in some form in a mother's and/or baby's medical chart. For example, a doctor may fail to diagnose and treat an expectant mother who develops high blood pressure or an obstetrics nurse may fail to closely monitor and intervene when an unborn baby's heart rate drops dangerously low.

A key element of any birth injury case is proving that a doctor or nurse failed to provide a "generally accepted standard of medical care." To establish what this accepted standard is and that a breach occurred, an attorney will work to secure the testimony of expert medical witnesses who can help verify that a doctor's or nurse's actions directly caused or contributed to a baby's injuries.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Birth Injury," April 19, 2016

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