Knowing Your Rights: How Things Go Wrong During Childbirth

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( — March 21, 2018) — The doctors and nurses in the delivery room should be prepared for possible emergencies and unforeseen events. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Serious birth injuries cause a lifetime of suffering, which is why compensation is often very high in these cases. 

To maximize recovery, it’s important to obtain top legal help for newborn hypoxia during birth. Typically, only an experienced professional can accurately value your case. Such a determination is important, because most people only get one bite at the apple. Once the case is settled, it is almost impossible to go back and obtain more funds.

 Why Things Go Wrong 

Hypoxia is a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain. This condition is very dangerous. After just five minutes, the oxygen-starved brain begins shutting down bodily functions. The clock is ticking fast, and the medical staff is well aware of this fact. Often, panic sets in. And when people panic, they often make very poor decisions. Some of these poor birthing room decisions are outlined below. 

Pride keeps some doctors from being fully prepared. An “I’ve got this” mentality often pervades all the doctor’s decisions. Typically, that’s a good thing, because the doctor must be confidence. But when confidence becomes overconfidence, attorneys must step in, especially if injury results. 

Other doctors do not have all the facts. Not all women get the same amount of prenatal care, and not all women stay with one doctor for the entire duration of their pregnancies. Certain hypoxia risk factors, such as an LGA (large for gestational age) fetus or maternal diabetes, are often overlooked. 

The labor-inducing drug pitocin is another concern. Today, most doctors use pit prior to scheduled delivery inductions. But the mother’s body is not always ready to go into labor according to the doctor’s schedule. So, the staff increases pitocin levels to rush the process. As a result, contractions come too fast and too hard. The placenta does not get enough rest time, which inhibits the flow of oxygen. 

How Doctors React 

If the baby is too large to move down the mother’s birth canal, the umbilical cord continues dropping. It applies pressure to the baby’s neck, restricting the flow of oxygen. This condition is commonly called shoulder dystocia. To resolve this problem quickly, many doctors turn to: 

  • Forceps: These mechanical delivery instruments resemble large surgical salad tongs. The doctor grasps the baby’s head and tries to pull the baby out. Forceps often cause permanent head or neck injuries.
  • Episiotomy: Doctors once routinely cut incisions into the mother’s perineum in order to widen the birth canal. This procedure is now widely condemned. The incisions often cause uncontrollable bleeding and severe pain, particularly during sexual intercourse.
  • Vacuum Extractor: This mechanical delivery device sounds harsh and in harsh. Doctors attach a vacuum to the baby’s skull and try to suck the baby out of the mother’s birth canal. Similar to forceps, vacuum extractors often cause permanent head injuries. 

Compensation in birth injury cases includes money for economic damages, such as medical bills, as well as noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. Because of the nature of these injuries, substantial punitive damages are usually available as well. 

No amount of money can erase a birth injury. However, the compensation makes it easier to live with such a wound. So, reach out to an attorney today.