Updated: May 8
Every medical professional should prioritize patient safety, especially those who work in military medical centers, hospitals or clinics. But too often veterans, active duty service members and their family members experience substandard and even negligent care in these facilities.
The failure of military doctors to identify, deliver, treat, or prevent birth injuries in their patients could indicate medical negligence. A knowledgeable California medical malpractice attorney can file a birth injury claim under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) to hold the government responsible for your child’s injuries.
Why birth injuries occur
There can be many causes of a birth injury, and in most cases, a competent medical professional can recognize and address these causes.
Delayed birth – Refusing to admit a patient when labor is far along, prolonging the birthing process past 18 hours without taking the necessary safety precautions, or failing to act promptly during times of fetal distress are all examples of a delayed birth. In these situations, babies can suffer from hypoxia or anoxia, reduced or total lack of oxygen, and endure serious, harmful, long-term effects.
Oxygen deprivation – Many problems can occur during labor and delivery, and it is up to the military doctor or nurse to frequently check on the health of the child during the birthing process. Prolapsed umbilical cords, low birth weight, slow heart rate, fetal distress and delayed birth can all result in oxygen deprivation, which can quickly cause a myriad of lasting health issues including brain damage. Trauma resulting from oxygen deprivation may be temporary, but the consequences can last a lifetime.
Misuse of tools – Medical tools are sometimes needed to complete a safe delivery for mother and child. These tools can include forceps or a vacuum extractor and must be used with extreme care. Mishandling of these tools can seriously damage a child’s brain or nervous system, resulting in cerebral palsy, a brachial plexus injury, or other conditions.
Medical malpractice – Medical professionals are required to provide a standard of care, but the devil is in the details. Failing to properly read a patient’s chart or view patient records, failing to communicate with other medical care providers about the patient, and simply exercising reckless care when treating a patient are all examples of medical malpractice.
Signs of birth injuries
Some birth injuries are clear and obvious at the time of trauma, but others may not present themselves immediately. Signs of a birth injury may not appear until a few days of the birth, such as:
Pain in baby’s limbs
Bumps on the baby’s head
Problems eating or not eating at all
Inability to cry or suck
Seizures and spasms
These symptoms are not always indicative of a birth injury, but a military medical professional should examine the baby and identify the cause of any issue. Failure to investigate or failure to exercise reasonable care in identifying the cause of your baby’s pain, distress or other trouble could be grounds for a medical negligence case.
There is no acceptable reason for a medical malpractice birth injury
The miracle of birth should be a cause for celebration, not legal action. If your prenatal or obstetrical care in a military clinic, hospital or medical center resulted in a birth injury, The Bertling Law Group can help. We have the experience to help military service members and families recover compensation from birth injuries or trauma due to medical negligence. We serve clients throughout California and nationwide. Call 844-295-7558 or contact us online to schedule your free, no-risk consultation.