The birth of a newborn is both an exciting and critical moment. Post-delivery observation, diagnosis and care of a newborn are crucial to survival, longevity and long-term health. Improper or insufficient treatment of any complications can lead to death, long-lasting illness or detrimental effects like blindness, scarring or cerebral palsy.

The unique characteristics of a newborn make these moments particularly important. While a newborn has certain natural immunities, the newborn is particularly fragile and therefore more vulnerable to physical injuries from even the slightest mishandling. Furthermore, any injuries that occur are potentially more serious because there's a greater likelihood of long-term detrimental effects.

Sufficient newborn care includes:

  • Proper delivery without injury
  • Post-delivery examination to check for injury, if any
  • Careful handling and monitoring to prevent post-delivery injury
  • Appropriate treatment of injury, if any

When Can a Doctor Be Held Liable?

As with all medical malpractice, a medical practitioner (doctor, nurse, etc.) is liable for any injuries that occur as a result of negligence in treatment. A medical practitioner can be liable for:

  • Refusing to provide care
  • Failing to request and/or send a newborn to a specialist as necessary
  • Discharging a newborn while at risk or prior to sufficient evaluation
  • Delaying treatment because of failure to detect any problems
  • Failing to convey information
  • Misdiagnosis of injury
  • Mistreatment for injury

A hospital can also be held liable for improper or inadequate facilities and personnel.

How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice?

Medical practitioners are required to provide a level of care that is adequate as compared to a general industry standard of care. If failure to meet that standard results in an injury, the practitioner can be found negligent and liable. Proving that negligence led to the injury of a newborn requires proof in the form of evidence of the practitioner's actions and comparison of those actions against testimony of medical experts as to the standard of care expected in that particular situation.

Do You Need an Attorney Experienced with Medical Malpractice?

If you, or a loved one, have been injured by medical malpractice, you should speak to a personal injury attorney immediately to learn more about the value of your case, who can be held liable, and what types of recoveries are available to you.