Labor and Delivery Problems Can Cause Birth Injuries
Labor and delivery can be a stressful and challenging time for both Mom and baby. There is a real potential for both mother and child to become in distress. Doctors, nurses, hospital staff, must stay on top of the condition of both patients as labor and delivery birth injuries are all too common.
Oxygen Deprivation and the Baby
An unborn baby can experience a lack of oxygen in the womb. This impacts the child’s development. Mothers with high blood pressure, diabetes, and other diseases are at risk of having oxygen-deprived babies. Doctors must test and monitor these conditions during prenatal care.
Also, if the baby lacks sufficient oxygen in the womb, they may need an elevated level of care at birth. Some babies may require help breathing or neonatal intensive care. Appropriate and immediate care at birth may help prevent injuries. However, children born without adequate oxygenation may suffer developmental problems and cerebral palsy. Often cerebral palsy can be avoided with prompt attention to fetal distress.
Babies may also experience oxygen deprivation during birth. Delivery doctors and nurses have the responsibility to ensure the child does not suffer from lack of oxygen. Decreased oxygen in the blood and decreased blood flow can cause asphyxiation and brain damage.
Monitoring for & Reacting to Fetal Distress
Fetal monitoring during labor is crucial in childbirth. Fetal monitoring allows the doctors and nursing staff to understand how the baby is tolerating labor. When interpreted properly, the delivery team can determine when the baby is getting into trouble, or going into fetal distress.
The labor and delivery team must recognize fetal distress and act quickly to protect the baby. Fetal distress can indicate a lack of oxygen or blood flow to the baby. Doctors and nurses must act swiftly to respond to signs and symptoms of distress to avoid severe brain injuries in infants. Situations that require emergency intervention can include:
- Placenta abruption
- Umbilical cord prolapse when the umbilical cord gets pinched
- Uterine rupture
- Fetal bradycardia – decrease in the baby’s heart rate
In each of these situations, the baby must be delivered quickly and more often by Cesarean section. Doctors and nurses who ignore the signs and symptoms of distress may be liable for the harm caused to the baby due to lack of oxygen and blood flow.
Vacuum Extractors and Forceps Injuries
Doctors may use mechanical instruments to deliver babies, including vacuum extractors and forceps. When they devices are not used properly babies can be injured. When doctors apply too much force, twist the baby, or use these devices improperly, the baby can be severely injured.
Doctors must be careful in using and pulling a baby’s head with forceps and vacuum extractors. A baby’s brain can be damaged, if the instruments are placed incorrectly if the doctor uses too much pressure, pulls too hard or too many times. Forceps or vacuum extractors can injure the baby’s brain, neck, shoulders, and nerves. Improper use of these devices may even cause injuries leading to cerebral palsy.
Contact a Houston Labor and Delivery Birth Injury Attorney
If your child during labor and delivery, seeking legal help and guidance is an important first step in holding the responsible parties accountable for the harm they’ve caused. Your child may face a lifetime of medical and assistive care. Contact Chelsie King Garza today to discuss your options.