Birth Injury Law

Definition of birth injury

Injury caused by trauma to a baby or his mother due to negligence, medical malpractice or law in hospital policy during birth is called birth injury. In other words it means that the professional attending to the case failed to use appropriate care and lacked the skill to perform the procedure successfully.

Birth Injury Law

The law is a part of the medical malpractice law and also includes incompetency of the medical practitioner in charge of the procedure. Negligence in the prenatal care (before the birth of the baby) can also be classified under this law. Birth injuries are of two types – anoxia and dystocia. Anoxic brain injury is the failure on part of the medical professional to monitor the birth and order an emergency surgery in time. Dystocia is the improper handling of the baby during the delivery process resulting in various physical and mental abnormalities.

In order to claim their negligence, the plaintiff has to prove that:

  • The standard of care was inappropriate
  • The surgeon did not adhere to the standards of care
  • The child is suffering because of the birth injuries only and but for the doctor’s negligence, the child would be normal.

Defense to a birth injury suit:

Three common defenses are available to a defendant in case of birth injury accusation.

  • If a doctor who is primarily not been taking care of the pregnant lady right from the beginning was involved and was helping her out in an emergency, then the doctor can claim immunity due to lack of complete medical history of the plaintiff.
  • If the defendant can prove that the incident occurred in spite of following the standard care condition or that the doctor followed another equally accepted standard of care for handling the emergency, then he can claim innocence.
  • Finally if the doctor can prove that it was the action of some other person or equipment or some unknown genetic disorder that resulted in the incident and not his negligence then he can claim innocence.

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