When Is a Birth Injury Considered Medical Malpractice in Iowa?

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Posted by Farl Greene

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare – a joyous day of birth for their child that turns into a frightening and terrible experience. Or maybe your child’s birth seemed to happen without issue – but they begin missing key developmental milestones as they grow older.

Either way, you suspect that something went wrong during your child’s birth – and want to hold someone accountable for it.

When is a Medical Mistake Considered Malpractice in Iowa?

Birth can be considered traumatic for both mother and baby. However, there are monitoring systems to use and procedures the OB-GYN can and should follow to keep the baby safe throughout delivery. If the delivery doctor or nurse does something they should not do, or fail to do something they should have done, and your baby is seriously injured because of it, this can be considered medical malpractice.

Types of Birth Injuries

There are many types of birth injuries that can occur during delivery. Many birth injuries occur because the baby is deprived of oxygen, usually because of a prolonged labor. A lack of oxygen can lead to a variety of different birth injuries, including cerebral palsy or chronic seizures.

Shoulder dystocia, where the baby’s shoulders become lodged during delivery, can also cause traumatic injury to both the mother and baby. It can result in broken arms or collarbones, nerve damage, and even brain damage if the baby is without oxygen during this time.

If forceps or a vacuum is used during delivery, injury can occur if there is too much force used. Common injuries are to the brain or skull, including skull fractures.

Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim in Iowa

Proving that the OB-GYN or other medical professional harmed your child is not easy. You have to prove that the medical professional was negligent in their actions (or inactions) and that their negligence caused your baby’s injuries.

No Iowa medical malpractice attorney can tell you that malpractice actually occurred. Only another doctor with the same expertise and experience can make this claim. A medical expert will need to review your baby’s medical records to determine what went wrong – and if it was considered medical malpractice.

Iowa Medical Malpractice Damages

Each claim is different, but there are a number of damages you could receive in a settlement or verdict:

  1. Economic damages – these damages include past and future medical treatment for your child; devices like a wheelchair, hearing aids, or other aids; loss of earning capacity if an economic expert determines your child may not be able to work; funeral and burial expenses if your child dies
  2. Non-economic damages – these damages include pain and suffering; emotional distress; loss of consortium (also known as loss of companionship and comfort – parents of the child can ask for this type of damage).

We know this is a difficult time. You are probably heartbroken, confused, and angry. The last thing you want to deal with is a lawsuit. That’s why we believe serious negligence claims are best handled by a skilled Iowa medical malpractice lawyer.

RSH Legal offers a free, no-obligation case evaluation to those who have suffered serious injuries or death after a medical error. To schedule your free consultation, call 1-800-433-0283 today.

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