Common birth injuries may be the result of negligence

Common birth injuries may be the result of negligence

Having a baby is one of life’s most joyous occasions. However, while the majority of births are without complication, when issues do arise, the consequences and potential outcomes for mother and child can be severe. Often, parents are left with questions concerning what to do, whether their medical staff is doing all that they should, and what to do if things go wrong.

In general, it is the job of the health care professionals, including doctors, nurses and staff to prepare a mother for labor and delivery, and inform her of the what to expect, along with potential warning signs. It is important for women to be aware of common complications and how to resolve them, so that in the event a difficult situation arises, both patient and doctors are ready to take the necessary steps quickly to prevent a potential birth injury.

The main labor and delivery complications include the following: pre-eclampsia, failure to progress, umbilical cord concerns, non-ideal positioning, and pre-term birth.

Failing to progress describes the situation when labor stalls. In some situations, when this occurs, doctors may administer Pitocin – a hormone that may help strengthen and speed up contractions, or utilize forceps to help advance the baby. Both of these methods come with risks. The excessive use of Pitocin without proper monitoring has been linked to birth injuries, including brain damage, Similarly, the improper use of forceps may lead to brachial plexus injuries and potential brain injury.

While in some situations these interventions may be necessary, other times they are used too soon. When the doctor or other medical staff fail to properly assess the situation, their actions may be considered negligent.

Another complication is pre-eclampsia, a condition that may affect mothers during the third trimester. When this condition is untreated, it may cause serious, and potentially fatal complications for the mother and child. To avoid complications, it is important mothers seek prenatal counseling and follow a skilled doctor’s advice concerning treatment.

Other complications include umbilical cord issues, such as when the cord becomes wrapped around the infant’s neck. It some situations this may be addressed by having an emergency cesarean section, or immediately upon birth, or where other times, the cord may become compressed and restrict the flow of oxygen and blood to a baby’s brain, causing potentially serious complications.

A further risk includes when an infant presents in breech position, with its bottom or feet toward the cervix rather than the head. In these instances, doctors may recommend delivering via cesarean section.

Pre-term birth is also a risk for some mothers. When a baby is born before the 37th week, he or she may not be fully developed, and may experience complications such as breathing or hearing impairment, and other developmental delays. With consistent prenatal appointments, doctors may be able to identify potential risks for premature delivery, and implement steps to help delay labor.

To protect yourself from complications, and be prepared should they occur, it’s best to speak to your health care provider and discuss any potential concerns.

The failure to address concerns or take necessary action when risks factors present themselves, may constitute negligence. If you or your child suffers harm due to a doctor or other health care providers breach of care, then it may be possible to file a birth injury medical malpractice lawsuit.

For more information, please contact the dedicated and compassionate California birth injury lawyers at Bostwick Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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