Wrongful Fetal Death Could Be Due to Malpractice. Consult a Cook County Birth Injury Lawyer Today.
Sometimes – and it rarely happens — something goes horribly wrong before, during or shortly after a baby’s birth, and the infant dies. Wrongful fetal death could be the product of a birth injury or some other medical mistake. Most infant wrongful deaths are preventable, and many times are the result of improper care or treatment by negligent physicians, nurses and even the hospital itself. An experienced Cook County birth injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a viable case.
What is Infant Wrongful Death?
The legal term wrongful death describes a preventable death of any person due to negligence or inappropriate actions of another. In most wrongful fetal death cases, the plaintiffs who file the claim or lawsuit are parents. The defendant(s) are the physician(s) or other medical personnel involved in the event.
Sometimes a baby is born normally but sustains a fatal birth injury due to an error by the doctor. In this example, the physician and the medical staff may be held responsible. Other times, the fault may lie with an earlier error in diagnosis or treatment by the OB/GYN during pregnancy.
In cases of a stillborn birth, physicians or medical staff sometimes may be blameless. An example would be if the mother was in a car accident or suffered some other traumatic injury that led to the infant’s death before the birth. Then the liable party might be the negligent person who caused the accident. But if the doctor or medical staff performed an action that led to a stillborn birth or failed to give proper treatment that could have prevented a stillbirth, they may be liable for damages. A Cook County birth injury lawyer can determine who may be at fault.
Birth Injuries that Could Result in Wrongful Death
Wrongful fetal deaths during delivery can be caused by a variety of negligent acts on the part of the birthing team or members of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The most common include:
- Oxygen deprivation (Anoxia): Oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) is a principal cause of cerebral palsy and other neurological afflictions, but it also can be fatal (anoxia). Doctors and nurses in the delivery room must be alert for any sign the baby is not getting enough oxygen and act quickly to prevent injury or a baby’s tragic death.
- Reduced blood flow: If the amount of blood an infant gets during labor is restricted for a long time or stops altogether, the brain, heart and other organs can’t function and shut down, leading to fatal consequences.
- Traumatic delivery: Stress due to unexpected developments in a long labor can catch a doctor off guard, such as an emergency situation like a distressed baby who is stuck in the birth canal. Sometimes the obstetrician can make poor and negligent decisions under pressure. A physician might use excessive and forceful pulling when trying to deliver the baby, fatally injuring it with forceps or vacuum extractor. Even if the injuries aren’t fatal, such forceful actions can lead to other birth injuries, such as Erb’s palsy, shoulder dystocia and Klumpke’s palsy.
A pharmacist or medical equipment operator mistake can have tragic consequences for an infant and mother. A few other birth injuries that can cause infant wrongful death include:
- Antepartum hemorrhage (APH, bleeding during pregnancy)
- Eclampsia (seizures in the mother)
- Uterine rupture during delivery
- Traumatic spinal cord damage
Any parent who suspects fetal wrongful death before, during or after delivery should contact an experienced Cook County birth injury lawyer who can begin the investigation into the matter — and the sooner, the better for you and your family.
If your baby suffered a wrongful death due to medical negligence, Buttafuoco and Associates experienced birth injury attorneys offer a free consultation. Contact us anytime by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT or fill out our online contact form.