Causes & Consequences of Labor and Delivery Errors

The labor and delivery process can be complicated by many factors, including those that are unpredictable. However, there are many instances in which a mother and baby suffer injury or other losses due to the negligence of a medical provider or a hospital system. Understanding the causes and consequences of labor and delivery errors is critically important if you are the victim.

At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, we know how to fight for our clients who are up against some of the most challenging legal matters they could face. If you suspect a medical error puts your child at risk, contact our Portland birth injury lawyer for a free evaluation.

Medical Procedures and Best Practices Are Meant to Reduce Risks

As you explore the causes and complications that come from labor and delivery errors, you may be frustrated that this could happen to you. The medical community follows a wide range of best practices and rules that are meant to minimize the risk of these types of errors. Yet, they happen, and when they do, they put your child and even your own life on the line.

Most of the common types of labor and delivery errors are fully preventable. That can be hard to hear, but it is one of the most important things for you to know as a parent. The most common mistakes include:

When these mistakes happen, the consequences can be devastating. For many parents, diving into the child’s medical records to learn what these risks are and what could have been prevented is hard to do. That is why it is so critical to work with a birth injury attorney who has the education and experience to spot the indications of errors.

The Consequences of Labor and Delivery Errors

When a best practice is not followed, it could amount to medical malpractice. If your doctor or health care provider did not do what most other doctors should have done in the same situation, that can be evidence of malpractice.

When it happens, the losses can vary and be of different degrees of severity. Some are obvious from the time the child is born, but others are harder to spot until the child is growing. Consider some of the most common labor and delivery mistakes and what they cause.

Delayed Emergency C-Sections

If a child is in distress and cannot deliver normally, an emergent C-section is typically necessary. This needs to happen fast, often within 10 to 20 minutes of signs being observed that the child is in distress.

When the child does not receive the care needed soon enough, this can lead to brain damage. That is especially true if the child is not getting enough oxygen. This causes a brain injury that the child may never have had if it was not for the delay.

Birthing Asphyxia

Another potentially devastating birth and delivery mistake is oxygen deprivation, which is called birth asphyxia. It occurs during the time that the child is being born. It leads to brain damage in the child.

This may be due to a lack of flow of oxygen-rich blood to the child’s brain. Some children will develop cerebral palsy or seizure disorders from this condition and preventable mistakes.

Medication Mistakes

A variety of medications are used throughout the labor and delivery process for numerous needs, from speeding up the birthing process to minimizing pain. Medications are proven to be safe for a child, but that is not always the case.

If a medical provider uses the wrong medication, too much medication, or uses it too often, that can lead to brain damage and other complications for the child.

Fetal Monitoring Mistakes

Today’s technology for monitoring a child leading up to the birth is exceptional, and there is no reason for a doctor, nurse, or other provider not to keep fetal monitoring in place from the time you arrive until you leave.

If there are mistakes with fetal monitoring, it could mean that the doctor does not know the child is in distress soon enough. If the doctor or nurse does not pay attention to the records and monitoring reports, that could also lead to mistakes and long-term consequences, including brain damage if the child cannot get the medical care it needs soon enough.

Placental Abruption

In some situations, placental abruption occurs during the birthing process, which means that the child may not be getting enough of the oxygen-rich blood it needs during the birthing process. Other items can cause maternal bleeding and hemorrhaging that is life-threatening to the mother.

Most often, this type of condition can be detected early on during labor and delivery and, therefore, prevented from worsening. If doctors do not take action soon enough, that can lead to devastating results, including the death of the parent or the child.

Extractor Mistakes

Forceps and vacuum extractors are still used today because they can become necessary in some situations. Used properly, they are not typically problematic and can help ease the child down the birth canal. However, mistakes can occur.

If a doctor does not use the tools in the right way, they can lead to very challenging outcomes, including damage to muscles, ligaments, nerves in the spinal cord, and much more. In some situations, a child may also suffer brain bleeds from the improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors that leave them with long-term implications.

There are many times when the causes and consequences of labor and delivery errors are not fully explained to a parent at the time of their child’s birth. There are some instances in which the parent has no idea anything went wrong. Yet, these types of injuries can lead to long-term injuries and damage that warrants legal action.

For help with labor and delivery errors you believe have happened, contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC at 503-862-8712 for a free consultation. We are here to help you.