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Protecting Accident Victims Throughout Western Pennsylvania.

Medical malpractice can cause these types of birth injuries

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2021 | Malpractice

Sometimes, the cause behind a birth injury in Pennsylvania is medical malpractice. If you suspect that negligence from your health care provider injured your newborn, you could speak with a lawyer to see if there is a case that you can pursue compensation. Negligence may consist of something a health care provider did or didn’t do while assisting the mother through labor and delivery.


Hypoxia occurs when your baby’s brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen. This can occur before, during or after birth. If your health care provider doesn’t treat it properly, hypoxia can cause more serious conditions like cerebral palsy, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and cognitive deficiencies. Risk factors for hypoxia include umbilical cord injuries, umbilical cord prolapse, brain blood vessel abnormality, shoulder dystocia and infections.

Shoulder dystocia

Most instances of shoulder dystocia aren’t the result of medical malpractice. There is a long list of possible reasons behind a baby’s shoulders getting stuck in the mother’s pelvis during birth. Some of the causes behind this birth injury are a small pelvis, an unusually large baby, multiple babies in the womb and a late birth. If the mother is obese or has diabetes, there is a higher risk of her baby’s shoulders getting stuck in her pelvis.

However, it is also possible that medical malpractice is the cause behind a baby’s shoulder dystocia. Your health care provider may have made a mistake when using a vacuum or forceps to deliver your baby. They may have also failed to diagnose shoulder dystocia before the delivery.

Failure to diagnose preeclampsia

When a health care provider fails to diagnose preeclampsia, the mother and baby are at risk of health complications, injuries and even death. Women who are under 20 years old or over 40 years old are at higher risk of preeclampsia. First pregnancy, obesity, multiple babies in the womb, migraine headaches, diabetes and chronic blood pressure are other risk factors. Preeclampsia is one of the leading causes of infant and maternal illness and death.

It’s always worth looking into your concerns if you worry that your health care provider made a mistake during your pregnancy and delivery. Also, it’s important to note that birth injuries sometimes show up years later, so you may want to ask an attorney about the Pennsylvania statute of limitations for birth injury claims.