What are the Top 14 Obstetrical Malpractice Injuries

By Greg Kohn

Pregnancy and childbirth always have some risks, as does any medical condition and procedure. However, some of the injuries and fatalities sustained by mothers and infants are the result of negligence and obstetrical malpractice. Realizing that illness, injury, or death was preventable can be devastating for a family. A New Jersey medical malpractice attorney can help a family investigate the circumstances of the injury or death to determine if a medical provider committed obstetrical malpractice.

Common Examples of Obstetrical Malpractice Injuries

Any negligence or wrongdoing by a medical provider that causes harm or injury to the mother or the child may give rise to an obstetrical malpractice claim. Some of the common injuries that occur because of medical errors and negligence during pregnancy, labor, and delivery include:

  • Eclampsia and pre-eclampsia
  • Infections
  • Uterine rupture
  • Brain damage
  • Placental abruption
  • Macrosomia
  • Stillbirth
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of a newborn (PPHN)
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
  • Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL)
  • Injuries from forceps and other medical instruments
  • Episiotomy Injuries

 The injuries to the mother and the child because of obstetrical malpractice and negligence can be catastrophic. Many children sustain permanent disabilities and impairments because of medical errors and negligence committed by doctors and other health care providers.

Examples of Obstetrical Malpractice

When a woman becomes pregnant, she requires careful care and observation for any signs of trouble for her or her unborn child. During labor and delivery, medical providers must carefully monitor the mother and the infant for distress and conditions that could cause injury or life-threatening conditions. When a physician or other health care professional makes a mistake or is negligent, the risk of injury and death increases.

Some of the common forms of obstetrical malpractice include:

  • Failing to monitor the mother for gestational diabetes
  • Failure to test for group B streptococcus
  • Waiting too long to perform a cesarean section or perform an unnecessary cesarean section
  • Failing to monitor the infant for fetal distress during labor and delivery
  • Using forceps improperly
  • Failing to diagnose problems with the placenta or the umbilical cord
  • Failure to test and diagnose pregnancy-induced hypertension
  • Lack of proper supervision of staff
  • Failing to administer required diagnostic tests
  • Errors in reading ultrasounds
  • Medication errors, including anesthesia errors

Proving Obstetrical Malpractice and Negligence

Obstetrical malpractice is a complex area of medical malpractice law. Proving cases of obstetrical malpractice can be challenging. In many cases, medical experts must be consulted to determine the cause of the injury. Testimony from expert witnesses is necessary to establish the acceptable duty of care and provide evidence of the malpractice, negligence, or wrongdoing that breached that duty of care.

Families who suspect that negligence or malpractice played a role in the injury or death of the mother or the child need to consult with an experienced obstetrical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. The time to file a medical malpractice claim is limited.

Contact an Essex County NJ Personal Injury Attorney for More Information

In can be difficult to think about taking legal action when your family is suffering the heartbreak caused by the negligence and wrongdoing of a health care provider. However, an obstetrical malpractice claim can help provide the financial support your family needs as you continue to seek treatment and care for your child. Contact one of our New Jersey medical malpractice attorneys to help you hold the doctor and health care providers responsible for your family’s pain accountable and liable for their actions.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.