Cleveland Birth Injury Attorneys Seek Justice for Injured Newborns
Hundreds of babies suffer falls and drops in hospitals every year—and many go unreported
At The Eisen Law Firm, our Cleveland birth injury attorneys have experience in a variety of birth injury claims. The birth of a child should be one of the most exciting times in a parent’s life. However, due to the negligence or carelessness of medical professionals, accidents often occur, causing baby harm.
New mothers in a hospital maternity ward are utterly exhausted. They may have endured a thirty-hour labor and a C-section. Perhaps they went into labor well before their due date and had to spend days or weeks with their newborn in the neonatal intensive care unit. No matter how a child comes into the world, it is an exhausting and draining time for new moms (and dads). At this level of exhaustion, the human body simply cannot function well. Sometimes, tragically, babies are dropped by tired new moms while they are still in the hospital.
National figures show that between 600 and 1,600 newborns are dropped every year. This is believed to be an underestimate, since only the most serious falls are reported. Breastfeeding time is an especially risky time for falls, since breastfeeding triggers the release of a hormone in the mother called oxytocin. Oxytocin increases relaxation and drowsiness.
Many mothers, especially those who have undergone C-sections, are on heavy painkillers after birth. Being on these medications increases the likelihood of an accident. As a mother tries to nurse, change diapers, and soothe a newborn while under the influence of these painkillers, the risk of a fall increases tremendously.
Many hospitals fail to properly monitor new mothers
Most hospitals follow a “rooming in” model. Instead of keeping babies away from their mothers in a hospital nursery, babies share the room. Though there are many benefits to this model, it can interfere with a new mother’s ability to sleep. Many hospitals do not require nurses to make rounds frequently enough to check on these new, sleep-deprived mothers. Other hospital staff may receive inadequate training on preventing newborn falls. With proper policies and procedures in place, the risk of such falls can be reduced significantly, if not eliminated altogether.
Hospital staff and doctors may also drop babies
Many newborn drops and falls are the fault of doctors and medical staff. During especially rapid births, a baby may fall to the floor before a doctor is able to catch it. Nurses have also dropped newborns shortly after delivery, or have accidentally knocked them out of bassinets as they were being transported from one part of the hospital to another.
Whether caused by a new parent or a medical professional, newborn drops and falls are preventable. With proper safety measures in place, a baby should not fall in a medical facility. These measures include:
- Educating parents on infant safety
- Properly training staff
- Prohibiting co-sleeping
- Implementing regular rounds
- Reducing the amount of prescribed narcotics
- Using hospital beds that are designed to prevent falls
Taking such precautions will significantly reduce the risk of a drop or fall.
Newborn Fall and Drop Injuries
Newborn injuries that may result from a drop or a fall include:
- Brain injury, especially if the fall is from a height of over 2 feet
- Brain bleeding
- Skull fractures
- Abdominal injuries
Newborn falls and drops may also lead to indirect injuries. For example, if a CT scan is required to determine the extent of a baby’s injury after a fall, undergoing such a scan may increase the baby’s risk of developing brain cancer or leukemia, due to the exposure to radiation.
Contact The Eisen Law Firm today to discuss your birth injury claim
Was your child injured shortly after birth due to a fall or drop in the hospital? If so, you need to speak with an experienced Ohio birth injury attorney to determine whether you may be entitled to compensation. We offer a free consultation and are ready to discuss your legal options. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 216-687-0900 or contact us online.