When you are in labor, your life is in danger, as is the life of your unborn child. Although modern medicine has made the process of bringing new life into the world safer, childbirth can still result in permanent injury or death to a woman. Additionally, complications during birth might claim a life of an unborn child.
Most of the time, doctors will take immediate action to protect both mother and child. Unfortunately, sometimes it is the behavior of a doctor that results in a tragic outcome or birth injury. How do doctors sometimes contribute to their patients’ birth injuries?
They don’t monitor the baby or progress of labor properly
Careful monitoring is crucial to good outcomes for mother and child during labor. Frequent visits by nurses should check the mother’s progress through labor and also verify that fetal monitors remain functional and in place. Improper monitoring might mean that the hospital staff isn’t ready when delivery starts or that they missed the signs of distress in an infant, which could lead to long-term consequences.
They use medication in ways that they should not
The process of studying drugs for administration to pregnant women and those in labor is even more in-depth than the usual process for testing medication. Only drugs that meet very strict criteria are safe to give to women in labor.
Unfortunately, doctors sometimes administer drugs in a way that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved. The drug Cytotec (or misoprostol), for example, could cause uterine rupture and is not meant for pregnant women.
They intervene when they should not
Some doctors have an overly developed sense of their own skill and like to try making things happen on their own schedule. Administering unnecessary drugs to speed up contractions or the effacement of the cervix could lead to negative consequences for mother and child. The same is true for the unnecessary use of forceps or vacuum extraction devices during labor.
Families who lose a loved one or that have to deal with the reality of a child with birth injuries may have legal grounds to bring a medical malpractice claim against the doctor and/or the facility involved in prenatal care or the delivery.