Powerful AdvocacyOn Your Side

What causes birth injuries in a hospital setting?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

Birth injuries are some of the most traumatic medical experiences possible. Instead of a healthy delivery, parents may have to come to terms with unexpected medical issues for their child. Women can also suffer poor medical outcomes during labor and delivery.

Sometimes, the issues arise that are outside the control of anyone. However, many poor medical outcomes in labor and delivery settings are the results of improper medical practices. What are some of the most common causes of birth injuries in modern medical settings?

Improper fetal monitoring

Fetal heart rate monitoring is the first and most crucial line of defense against severe birth injuries. When used properly, fetal heart rate monitors can detect signs of distress in an unborn infant quickly enough for medical intervention to prevent permanent damage.

An emergency C-section may not be the ideal delivery, but it is certainly preferable to a child suffering brain damage due to oxygen deprivation during labor. Nurses and doctors may fail to utilize monitors, may not check them even when they show irregularities or may use damaged equipment that doesn’t produce accurate results.

Unnecessary intervention

It is common for obstetric professionals to medicalize the birth process even when a woman is capable of handling it on her own. Doctors may try to speed up the process or otherwise intervene unnecessarily.

Sometimes, the attempts to speed up or manipulate labor can result in serious injury to the mother or child. For example, most practices have transitioned away from the use of forceps and vacuum assistance in all but the rarest of cases because of the possibility of causing neck injuries or damage to the eyes of the baby.


Hospitals unfortunately often operate primarily to generate profit, which can lead to practices that prioritize frugality over the quality of patient care. Having the least number of staff present possible is a common practice that may lead to facilities ending up overwhelmed when there are surges in demand.

When there aren’t enough staff members on hand to properly support all of the women in labor at the same time, someone may go without the assistance they required, possibly with tragic consequences. Families coming to terms with the financial consequences of a birth injury may need to look into a medical malpractice claim as a means of recouping their losses.

Holding a facility or medical professional responsible for a birth injury can limit the losses your family has to suffer.