Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on May 03, 2019 in Medical Malpractice
The birth of a child should be one of the most wonderful experiences in a parent's life. However, infants can suffer serious injuries due to the negligence or carelessness of medical professionals.
Last February, a newborn was dropped on her head by hospital staff members moments after birth at Chandler Regional Medical Center in Arizona.
The infant’s parents were recording the birth of their baby when the incident happened. The video shows their newborn daughter, who was born prematurely alongside her twin sister, being picked up by the doctor with one hand. The baby somehow slipped from the doctor’s hand and landed head-first on the bassinet, almost falling off the table.
The incident is a nightmare the parents cannot forget. The parents are seeking an apology from the doctor and the hospital. They also want answers as to whether or not the fall will cause any head trauma or long-term effects. An ultrasound conducted a week after the incident revealed the newborn had a small, grade 1 hemorrhage on the left side of her brain.
Neither parent has been given more information regarding the test results, including whether or not the hemorrhage was due to the infant being born prematurely or if it is related to the fall. The parents are currently looking into possibly taking legal action to make sure that this incident does not happen to another family.
Incidents where a doctor or someone on staff drops a newborn are rare but can happen. A baby may be dropped shortly after delivery or accidently knocked out of a bassinet when it is being transported from one part of the hospital to another.
Nationally, hospitals report between 600 to 1,600 newborn falls each year. These figures almost certainly fall short of the true number of incidents since only the most serious falls are reported.
Many situations where newborns are dropped are preventable. If the proper safety procedures are in place, no baby should fall in a medical facility. Newborn injuries that may result from a drop or fall include head trauma, brain bleeding, skull fractures, hematomas and abdominal injuries.
In order to prevail in a birth injury claim, there are four elements of medical negligence that must be proven.
The first element is showing that the doctor owed a duty to the patient, in this case to the child and his parents. A doctor-patient relationship must have existed where there was an agreement to provide treatment. Once that relationship is established, the doctor is legally obligated to provide medical care that meets the acceptable standards within the medical community. He or she must act in a reasonable manner as a similarly-trained medical professional would do in the same situation.
The second element is showing the doctor acted negligently, breaching his or her duty of care. This means proving that the doctor failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the incident from happening. Examples of a breach of duty of care include a doctor failing to secure an infant safely after delivery or not taking enough precautions to significantly reduce the risk of a newborn drop or fall.
The third element is showing that there is a causal link between the injuries your child has suffered at birth and the doctor’s breach of duty of care. This means establishing that the doctor’s actions or inactions directly caused your child harm that was not due to a pre-existing condition. In the case of the newborn injured in Arizona, it must be shown that the brain hemorrhage or any other future complications the child may suffer were the result of being dropped head-first and not because the child was born prematurely as a twin.
The fourth and final element is showing that damages were suffered as a result of the harm. This may include current and future medical expenses and lost wages due to missing work in order to take care of your child during this difficult time.
If your child was injured shortly after birth, you need to consult with an experienced Phoenix birth injury lawyer to determine if you have a valid case and whether or not medical negligence played a role. At Phillips Law Group, our team will do everything we can help you and your child recover the compensation you need. Although nothing can change what happened, monetary compensation may be able to help ease the financial burden of caring for your child.
We offer a free consultation and are ready to discuss the legal options available to you. There are no upfront fees to worry about unless we help you recover the compensation you and your family deserve.
We are here to help. Contact our office today by calling 1-800-706-3000.
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