Childbirth is a miraculous event that brings joy and happiness to families. But for some women, the process of giving birth can be complicated by a range of issues that can pose health risks to both mother and baby.
Delivery complications can occur unexpectedly during labor and may require immediate medical attention to ensure the safety and well-being of both the mother and the newborn.
Are delivery complications considered medical malpractice?
While some delivery complications are unforeseeable and unavoidable, despite the best efforts of healthcare providers, many delivery complications are the result of medical errors.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider, such as a doctor, nurse or hospital, causes harm to a patient by failing to meet the accepted standard of care.
In the context of childbirth, medical malpractice may occur if a healthcare provider fails to identify or adequately manage a delivery complication that leads to injury or harm to a mother or baby.
Medical malpractice can occur during any stage of pregnancy or delivery. Below are just a few examples of delivery complications that commonly result in medical malpractice:
- Failure to identify or properly manage fetal distress. Fetal distress is a delivery complication that occurs when the baby’s oxygen supply is compromised during labor. Healthcare providers have a duty to monitor the baby’s heart rate and take appropriate action if they detect signs of distress. Failure to recognize fetal distress and take appropriate action, such as an emergency cesarean (C-section) delivery, can lead to brain damage, cerebral palsy or even death.
- Delayed or improper use of delivery instruments. If a baby isn’t progressing through the birth canal, healthcare providers may need to use delivery instruments, such as forceps or a vacuum, to assist with the delivery. Improper use of these instruments or delays in their use can cause injury to the baby, such as nerve damage or skull fractures.
- Failure to recognize and manage maternal health conditions. Maternal health conditions, such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or placental abnormalities, can increase the risk of complications during labor and delivery. Healthcare providers have a duty to recognize and manage these conditions to minimize the risk of harm to the mother and baby. Depending on the specific health condition, failure to manage such conditions can result in complications, including excessive bleeding, stroke, organ damage, infections, fractures, nerve damage, cerebral palsy and death.
- Failure to perform a timely C-section delivery. In some cases, a cesarean delivery may be necessary to avoid delivery complications, such as a prolonged labor or fetal distress. Healthcare providers have a duty to recognize when a C-section delivery is necessary and perform the procedure in a timely manner. Failure to do so can result in serious injury or death to a mother or her baby.
Healthcare providers have a duty to monitor the mother and baby, recognize and manage any delivery complications promptly, and take appropriate action to avoid harm. When they fail to do so, they may be liable for damages through a birth injury lawsuit.
Birth injury attorney Laura Brown busts the biggest misconceptions about medical malpractice during labor and delivery…
Types of delivery complications
The following are some of the most common types of complications that occur during labor and delivery.
- Failure of Labor To Progress
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Premature Rupture of Membranes (water breaking early)
- Excessive Bleeding
- Rapid Labor
- Umbilical Cord Prolapse
- Uterine Hyperstimulation Due to Pitocin
- Fetal Intolerance to Labor
- Jaundice (Kernicterus)
- Breech Position
- Placental Complications
- Placental Problems
- Umbilical Cord Problems
- Uterine Rupture
- Cervical Incompetence (Insufficiency)
- Blighted Ovum
- Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) – Intestinal Inflammation
- Cephalopelvic Disproportion
- Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
- Amniotic Fluid Embolism
- Birth Injury From Premature Delivery
- Developmental Delays
- Abnormal Cord Insertion
- Infections at Birth
- Chorioamnionitis Bacterial Infection
- Premature Birth
- Oxygen Deprivation
- Birth-Acquired Herpes
- Placenta Previa
- Placental Abruption
- Epidural Complications
- Episiotomy Complications
- C-section Complications
- Forceps Delivery Complications
- VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) Complications
Contact an experienced birth injury attorney
If you believe your child has experienced a severe birth injury due to medical negligence, it’s crucial to take immediate action. At Brown Trial Firm, experienced birth injury attorney Laura Brown can assist you in finding answers to your questions. She can provide you with guidance on your child’s legal rights and help determine whether you have a legal basis for compensation. This could include reimbursement for medical expenses and hospital stays, as well as future medical care, like therapy and medical support.
The sooner you begin your claim, the higher chances you have of success, so contact her today for a free consultation of your case.