Sheer joy accompanies the anticipation and seemingly magical progression of a normal pregnancy. We have all heard true stories of healthy babies being born on airplanes and in taxi cabs, delivered by unskilled bystanders in unsanitary conditions. These examples seem to demonstrate that the miracle of birth doesn’t require special conditions. But the other reality, equally valid and unfortunately far less rare, is that hospital births do not always result in a competent delivery. When there is negligence in the delivery room, the damage can be disastrous, and it is almost always permanent.
Healthcare providers in the delivery room owe overlapping duties of care to both mother and baby. An obstetrician or other physician, or, as is increasingly more often the case, a nurse midwife, delivers the baby, and then a pediatrician or neonatologist immediately becomes the baby’s primary doctor. Negligence in the delivery room occurs when the care from one or more of these healthcare providers falls below the standard of care expected by practitioners of the same type of medicine, and harm results to the baby, mother or both.
It may take years to discover harm caused by negligence in the delivery room and/or in the rendering of neonatal care. But time deadlines are complex, often short and always unforgiving. A claim brought too late can legally be barred forever. The time to seek an evaluation by a medical malpractice attorney is as soon as the delivery has unexpectedly gone wrong, or if the baby’s early development does not seem to be progressing within the range deemed normal by pediatricians.
It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you or your baby suffered harm from a complication during delivery, call Injijian Law Office, APC at 510-926-6036, or contact me online for a free initial consultation.