When a woman goes into labor, both she and her unborn child are at elevated risk. Achieving a safe and healthy delivery is often more difficult than people anticipate, and women may experience medical issues that put them and their babies at risk. Additionally, sometimes healthcare providers make serious mistakes that directly contribute to the likelihood of a birth injury.
Some birth injuries are only relatively minor challenges, but more serious birth injuries can lead to long-term or permanent medical challenges for an affected child. The following long-term consequences are experienced by some families after a major birth injury affects an infant who survives their harm.
Ongoing medical costs
Birth injuries such as cerebral palsy can leave someone in need of ongoing medical support for the rest of their life. They may require physical therapy and regular treatment by a physician to maintain their health and secure a reasonable standard of living. The cost of that care could easily add up to thousands of dollars each year and could persist for the life of the child.
Those with major medical challenges will often have limitations on their daily life that requires certain accommodations. Families may need to invest in specialized transportation, such as wheelchair-accessible vans, or they may need to drastically remodel their homes to make them accessible. There may also be unique educational or childcare challenges that will drastically increase the financial responsibilities of the parents in the family.
In severe cases, a child with a birth injury may require around-the-clock medical support. The family might choose to have one adult stay home with the child instead of bringing in a nurse or other professional. The family may then have to absorb not just equipment and medical costs but also the loss of an adult’s income, which could have a drastic impact on the entire family’s standard of living. Many households will learn that the only way to address those expenses will be to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Holding a medical facility or healthcare provider accountable for a birth injury could reduce the practical and financial burden on parents when something goes wrong during labor and delivery as a result of professional negligence. This is just one of several pressing reasons why families affected by birth injuries can benefit from seeking legal guidance proactively.