Delivering a baby can be challenging and difficult. This is true for the mother, but also for the medical professionals in the room. A doctor, nurse, midwife, or other expert should be held to high standards because of their training and expertise in delivering babies and helping with other complications and issues during a delivery. If they do not hold themselves to these standards, serious injuries can occur.
Rice, Murtha & Psoras ’s Maryland attorneys for fetal lacerations from childbirth handle lawsuits on behalf of parents of injured newborns to hold their doctors and other medical professionals responsible for injuries to the baby during the birthing process. If your child suffered serious cuts or lacerations because of a mistake your doctor committed, you might be entitled to substantial financial compensation. Call our lawyers today to schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your potential case. Our number is (410) 694-7291.
Causes of Fetal Cuts and Laceration Injuries During Childbirth
“Laceration” is merely a technical name for a cut. Outside of the medical context, a laceration can include any cutting or slicing injury, but during medical care, “laceration” is usually used to set accidental cuts apart from intentional incisions that the doctor might make with a scalpel or another medical device. That means that when we discuss fetal laceration injuries, we are talking about any accidental cuts your child suffers while they are being born.
Cuts can happen for multiple reasons that could be attributed to a doctor’s negligence, but the most common causes of fetal laceration injuries are mistakes made during a cesarean section (C-section). During a C-section, the doctor makes an incision to cut into the womb so the baby can be removed surgically instead of through a vaginal delivery. Usually, this incision goes from side to side, but sometimes a doctor might opt to make a vertical cut that goes from the belly button down.
When making an incision for a C-section, the doctor literally cuts into the womb. This means the doctor needs to cut deep enough to go through the skin, through any subcutaneous fat, and into the uterus. Usually, a doctor will do this in steps, first cutting through the skin to expose the uterus, and then cutting into the uterus itself.
Since the baby is literally right inside the uterus, the doctor must be careful about how deep to cut. If the doctor slips or pushes too hard, the scalpel could cut the baby. Since these cuts are usually low on the mother and horizontal, there is a high chance of the cut coming across the baby’s head or face, potentially leading to severe bleeding and highly visible wounds.
Holding a Doctor Liable for Accidental Cuts During Cesarean Deliveries
Fetal lacerations during a C-section usually occur because the doctor did not take proper care or use the proper skill that is expected during such a procedure. All medical professionals and healthcare providers are held to a certain “standard of care” when performing a procedure or caring for a patient. This standard of care dictates what level of care and skill a doctor should use, and it is usually based on the standards of what a reasonable physician with similar training and experience would do in the same situation.
The standard of care in a C-section delivery usually requires a doctor to take extra care when performing an incision across the mother’s uterus precisely because of the chance that the doctor might nick or cut the baby. There might be some circumstances or complications that make an injury like this forgivable, but these injuries commonly only occur through negligence. The doctor’s error, without other special circumstances, is often enough proof that the doctor committed negligence.
Lawsuits for fetal lacerations are usually filed only against the doctor and the hospital, as well as any members of the medical team who might have committed mistakes during the procedure. Typically, midwives and other healthcare providers who perform childbirths are not authorized to perform C-sections and must transport a baby to the emergency room if the baby is in need of a cesarean section or other emergency delivery procedures. This means that, typically, the fault lies directly with the physician who made the incision.
Damages for Fetal Cuts and Lacerations Caused by Medical Negligence
If your baby suffered a serious cut or laceration because of a mistake your doctor made during a C-section or another delivery procedure, you may be entitled to damages for the harms you and your family faced. Typically, a serious cut will require emergency medical care to close the wound. This usually means the baby will need stitches or sutures. A baby might still have some help with their immune system from the mother’s antibodies in their system, but a newborn is prone to infections and illness, especially with an open injury site like the one your baby might be suffering from. This care could ultimately mean additional time spent in the hospital. If the doctor pushed very hard and caused additional injuries to the skull or brain, the ongoing care needs might be more substantial. All of these medical care costs can typically be claimed as compensation for a childbirth injury.
In addition, your baby might suffer long-term scarring or aftereffects of the injury. A deep incision could leave scarring, even if it is treated immediately. If the injury was to the head or face, your baby could have a visible scar that might show into childhood and adulthood. Visible injuries like this are often worth additional compensation. Your baby will also be entitled to damages for pain and suffering related to the injury.
Moreover, courts might also order compensation for lost wages and earning capacity caused by a serious injury. Talk to a lawyer about what your case might be worth.
Call Our Maryland Lawyer for Families of Newborns Suffering from C-Section Laceration Injuries
If your baby suffered a serious cut to the face or another type of laceration injury during a C-section or another birthing procedure, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our lawyers for fetal lacerations from childbirth complications can help you and your baby get the financial compensation you deserve for serious childbirth injuries caused by negligent medical care. For a free legal consultation on your case and to learn more about what your claim might be worth, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.