Several weeks ago, we touched upon the standard of care to which states like New Mexico generally hold doctors and other medical professionals in birth injury cases. Basically, physicians are held to a higher standard of care than an average person would be held to, and, depending upon the circumstances, may be held to the standard of a reasonably prudent specialist in the medical field. But, doctors are not the only ones who might be liable for a child injured during the birth process.
While the most visible and likely candidate for malpractice during the birth is the medical doctor actually performing the procedure, there are many other medical professionals who could be involved, and whose mistakes might have created the problem. Nurses are usually there, attending to various tasks in the delivery room and afterward. Improper monitoring of a new-born, or a mistake in medication could create a birth injury situation. There might be other specialists involved as well, especially if there were complications during the delivery. An anesthesiologist, for example, may have been called in if the child needed to be delivered by caesarian section.
Also, the hospital itself may have some form of liability for the mistakes of its employees. Employees acting within the scope of their employment may make their employers liable vicariously by acting negligently. The hospital’s policies and procedures might not have been reasonable, or perhaps those policies were violated by staff when attending a given patient. Any of these situations may raise the possibility of liability for a birth injury suffered at the hospital.
The injury of a person who has an entire life ahead, and who is one of the most vulnerable of any in society, is always a tragedy. When a baby’s life is permanently altered by medical malpractice by a doctor or hospital, the parents may be entitled to pursue some form of compensation for the costs of that injury.