Common Medical Errors That Lead to Birth Injuries


Birth injury lawsuits in Alaska are a type of medical malpractice case, falling under the larger umbrella of personal injury claims. As such, they generally follow the same pattern in terms of enforcing your rights. According to Alaska’s medical malpractice statute, you must prove that a health care provider lacked the skills or failed to exercise the degree of care that would be appropriate under the circumstances. You must also establish that this failure was the direct cause of birth injuries to your baby, such that he or she would not have been hurt but for the breach.

Like other medical malpractice cases, the complexity of birth injury claims lies in the fact that you must show specifics regarding how the physician breached the standard of care. An experienced Anchorage, AK med mal lawyer will handle the details, but you should be aware of the most common medical errors that lead to birth injuries.


Insufficient Prenatal Care

You should be visiting your doctor regularly throughout your pregnancy and even more often as you approach your due date. Physicians must assess and monitor:

  • Your blood pressure;
  • Weight gain;
  • Fetal growth;
  • Your baby’s heart rate; and,
  • Many other factors, especially for high-risk pregnancies.


Any abnormalities or anomalies in these areas could indicate serious problems, so it is essential for your OB-GYN to identify and treat them before they cause birth injuries.


Failing to Screen Based Upon Risk Factors

This aspect of prenatal care deserves special mention because of the severe implications for both mother and child. In the presence of certain risk factors, such as diabetes and genetic disorders, it is standard for physicians to conduct tests and lab screenings. When diagnosed early, your OB-GYN can get you on an appropriate path of care and recommend lifestyle choices. Neglecting to order these tests may be grounds for a birth injuries claim.


Negligent Monitoring During Delivery

Childbirth can be grueling and physically strenuous, but it is also essential to approach delivery delicately to avoid injuries to mother or child. Part of this duty is actively, diligently monitoring both patients, including vital signs, oxygen levels, and heart rates. Physicians cannot take remedial action and resolve a fetus in distress when they are aware of a problem.


Errors During Labor and Delivery

 In addition to the OB-GYN, there are multiple personnel present in the room during delivery, including nurses, neonatal specialists, and related practitioners. Any of these health care providers may be negligent in performing their duties. Examples include:

  • Improper use of forceps, vacuum, or other birth assistive devices;
  • Delays or failure to order a C-section; or,
  • Mishandling a newborn infant.


Contact Our Anchorage, AK Med Mal Attorneys Regarding Your Options

 If your child suffered harm due to these or other breaches of the standard of care, you may be entitled to recover compensation for such losses as medical costs, pain and suffering, and your lost wages. To learn more about your legal remedies, please contact Power & Power Law in Anchorage, Alaska. We can schedule a free consultation to assess your circumstances and advise you on moving forward.