Birth Injury Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania

Birth Injury Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania

There is perhaps no more heartbreaking event than to have a baby or a pregnant person injured during the birthing process. While every injury or death that occurs during or after birth is a tragedy, certain birth injury events may be the result of medical malpractice. Essentially, medical malpractice is determined to have happened when a physician, hospital, or other health care professional provided substandard or negligent care.

Sadly, many Pennsylvania families have been impacted by birth injury. In 2021, Pennsylvania had an infant mortality rate of 5.4 per thousand births and a maternal mortality rate of 16.7. That equated to over seven hundred Pennsylvania babies who died before their first birthday. And nearly 10% of births in 2021 were premature.

Some of these infant deaths happen in the womb – IUFD or Intrauterine Fetal Demise occurs when a fetus 20 weeks or older is stillborn. Other potential birth injuries include oxygen deprivation resulting in. Cerebral Palsy or Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). These are just a few of the many diagnoses that can be associated with a birth injury.

Not all birth injuries can be traced to substandard medical care, but given the complex nature of the birthing process, substandard care greatly increases the likelihood of a birth injury or death. Some examples of medical negligence that occurs during the birthing process include delaying a medically necessary C-section, not properly using equipment to assist the baby’s birth, failing to adequately monitor vital signs, and administering the wrong medication or dosage. When it comes to establishing who is liable for negligent care, those injured can consider not only the direct care providers, but also the hospital or facility where the injury occurred.

Pennsylvania has specific requirements for bringing a medical malpractice case. Generally, there is a two-year statute of limitations from the date the injured party knows or should have known of the alleged malpractice, but in cases where injuries occurred in a minor child (under 18), there may be a longer time period for the filing of the minor’s claim. If you feel you may have a birth injury case, you will want to gather any records and make sure you record your personal observations so you can be clear and comprehensive about the details. Consulting with an attorney is critical given the complexity of these cases. Let us help.

Are you a parent or guardian whose child has suffered a serious injury at birth? Get Support Here.

About The Author

Attorney Thomas is a born advocate and represents individuals in personal injury and medical malpractice cases. She combines an extensive background in civil litigation with expert negotiation skills strengthened by her experience working both sides of the courtroom. Consistently recognized as a top lawyer by state and national organizations, Attorney Thomas is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and New Hampshire as well as the state and federal courts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.