A childbirth complication occurs when a mother or child suffers from an abnormal obstetrical condition or experiences an adverse event during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. While some of these complications end up being harmless, others can have devastating repercussions, including the loss of the child. We’ve included information on some of the most dangerous birth injuries below.
A uterine rupture is one of the most dangerous obstetric complications for a mother and unborn child. It occurs when the wall or lining of a woman’s uterus actually tears open, usually suddenly and without prior warning. This is extremely dangerous, as the baby almost immediately begins being deprived of oxygen, which can cause brain damage or death. Depending on the severity of the rupture, a baby will need to be delivered via an emergency cesarean section within ten to 30 minutes to avoid a brain injury or loss of life.
While they often occur with no warning, medical negligence does often contribute to these kinds of problems. There is, for instance, a known link between uterine ruptures and vaginal births after a woman has already had a C-section (the scar tissue on the uterus can weaken it). An obstetrician who failed to take a woman’s prior history into consideration when delivering a second child could be held liable for providing negligent care if the baby is injured as a result.
Shoulder dystocia can occur during vaginal delivery, when a baby’s shoulder becomes lodged in the birth canal, most often on the mother’s pelvis. This is very dangerous for the baby, who, due to oxygen deprivation could be at risk of brain injury or death. To avoid this, medical professionals will need to act quickly to dislodge the baby’s shoulder. Unfortunately, in his other haste to move the baby, a healthcare provider could end up pulling, pushing, or twisting the baby too hard, which in turn, can cause fractures to the collar bones or damage to the brachial plexus nerves on the back of the neck.
Umbilical Cord Prolapse
During a typical birth, a baby travels through the birth canal and is followed by the umbilical cord and placenta. Umbilical cord prolapse occurs when the cord drops into the cervical opening first, ending up in front of the baby when it actually enters the birth canal. This can cause the compression of the cord against the pelvis or the walls of the birth canal as the baby’s head pushes downward. This pinching can restrict or even cut off a baby’s oxygen supply, requiring immediate delivery.
Chorioamnionitis occurs when a maternal bacterial infection makes its way into the amniotic fluid or the fetal membrane. Maternal infections are actually pretty common during pregnancy and most don’t result in any consequences for the baby. Chorioamnionitis, on the other hand, is very dangerous, as it can cause prenatal oxygen disruption, which in turn can cause brain damage. In other cases, it can cause premature labor, which also increases the risk that a child will suffer a birth injury. Medical professionals can help prevent these kinds of complications by testing for infections early on in the pregnancy.
One of the primary roles of obstetric gynecologists and their staff is to identify potential complications that a mother and child could face and then manage those conditions effectively if they do occur. This requires taking a detailed record of the mother’s health history, conducting regular ultrasounds, monitoring fetal growth and weight, screening for birth defects and complications, and checking blood pressure and oxygen levels. This is particularly important when a woman has health conditions or experienced complications during an earlier pregnancy.
Unfortunately, some medical professionals fail to fulfill these obligations, which can have devastating consequences for both mother and child. While no amount of money can compensate a family for the loss of a loved one, it can help ensure that negligent parties are held accountable for their actions.
Contact Our Miami Medical Malpractice Legal Team Today
There is nothing more devastating than losing a child. These situations, however, are even more tragic when the cause of a child’s untimely loss could have been prevented if a healthcare provider had used the requisite amount of care in monitoring the mother and child during pregnancy and delivery. If you believe that a mistake was made during your own pregnancy, our law firm may be able to help you. Contact the dedicated and compassionate Miami wrongful death lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein to find out whether you could be entitled to compensation. You can set up a free consultation by calling 305-371-2692 or by completing one of our online contact forms.