Labor and delivery are physically and emotionally stressful for most women. They rely on the doctors and nurses present during the process to protect them and guide them through a safe birth. Generally, doctors and nurses are attentive, compassionate and well-informed about what to do during birth. Sometimes, however, a mistake or oversight can end up having profound and lasting consequences for the patient.
Medical mistakes during birth can leave a mother injured or an infant with a serious birth injury, like cerebral palsy. The family shouldn’t have to spend years paying for the mistakes made by others. When medical professionals make a mistake during birth that results in serious injuries, they should be held accountable.
Many cases of labor and birth-related infant injuries could be prevented if hospital staff makes sure to use adequate monitoring. They should be checking certain things, like the mother’s blood pressure, as well as monitoring the infant for any signs of distress. When an infant goes into distress, that can mean that emergency surgery is necessary for the health of both mother and baby. Causes of distress could include a lack of oxygen because of the umbilical cord or even detachment of the placenta.
If there was an issue with a fetal monitor, such as it not working properly, something could go wrong with your baby without your realizing it. If your nurses or doctor failed to realize your unborn baby was in distress, intervention may not have been done fast enough. Inadequate monitoring or the use of machinery in less than perfect conditions could result in a serious birth injury, such as cerebral palsy.
Sometimes doctors or nurses have their own reasons for wanting to speed up labor for a patient. Maybe it’s an appointment or just the end of a long shift. Doctors could request unnecessary treatments, like a cesarean section, also called a c-section, before the procedure is actually medically necessary. Other times, unnecessary drugs could be administered.
While most procedures and surgeries in a labor and delivery setting go well, there is always potential for mistakes and complications. Mother or baby could have a reaction to the sedative. Surgery could result in a nicked artery or a serious infection during the healing process. Other procedures can also cause unpleasant side effects or even serious injuries.
When a procedure proves to be medically unnecessary, the injured patient may start wondering why it even had to happen. Reviewing your memories, medical records and best practices for the facility can help you understand if a mistake contributed to a birth injury or another problematic outcome.