Wrongful Death of Baby During Childbirth
The death of a loved one is always a painful time for those of us left behind, but the death of a child is even more unfathomable. Perhaps most incomprehensible is never getting to bring your baby home at all. Although some fatal birth injuries are unavoidable, many are caused by the negligence or mistake of a member of the labor and delivery team. When a baby dies during childbirth because of some action or inaction on the part of a doctor, the family left behind may be able to recover damages under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act.
Fatal Birth Injuries
Some of the most common fatal birth injuries include:
- Hypoxia. Labor and delivery can be a chaotic time. Your medical team is responsible for the health and life of two patients, you and your baby. They must keep a vigilant eye and employ all proper monitoring techniques in order to catch any sign of distress and ensure the health of your baby. Fetal distress can often be a signal of oxygen deprivation, and if not quickly recognized and resolved, lack of oxygen can be deadly. Hypoxia can occur for a number of reasons, including a compressed umbilical cord, damage to the placenta, or the baby getting stuck in the birth canal.
- Restricted Blood Flow. If your baby does not get enough blood to his or her brain, he or she could sustain permanent injury, or worse. Blood flow to the baby may be restricted by compression of the umbilical cord, or any cause of maternal hemorrhage.
- Traumatic Deliveries. During an especially difficult delivery, it’s even more important for your doctor to be able to react effectively in the event of emergency. If a doctor improperly uses a labor assistive device, like forceps or a vacuum, or fails to order a timely Cesarean section, a baby’s life could be in danger.
Wrongful death is when a death is wrongfully caused by the action or inaction of another. A doctor has a duty to provide a certain standard of care, when he or she breaches that duty and a death occurs as a result, the Illinois Wrongful Death Act may be able to provide some relief to the grieving loved ones left behind.
In the event of a wrongful death, the Wrongful Death Act allows surviving loved ones to recover damages against the person or people who caused the death. For infant wrongful death, next of kin may be able to recover for emotional pain and suffering, as well as the loss of the potential relationship with the deceased, or other lost potential. A parent’s damages may be reduced by the amount they would have invested in the child had he or she survived.
Pursuing a wrongful death action involves finding experts to testify as to the appropriate standard of care, deposing witnesses from the labor and delivery room, investigating medical records, and many other legal complexities inherent in any civil litigation.
If you suspect that a loved one has been subjected to wrongful death, please contact a medical malpractice lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. to help evaluate your case.