What Should I Do If Labor Took Too Long And My Baby Suffered Injuries?


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A pregnant woman going into labor is a natural process. Still, it puts both the woman and her baby under a tremendous amount of stress, creating a dangerous risk of serious, lifelong injuries or even death. When there are unexpected complications during labor, injuries for mother and baby may be unavoidable. However, some situations that cause injuries are preventable and occur due to a medical professional's negligence. When that happens, it's often because doctors or nurses did not provide the appropriate and timely care needed.

The medical professionals who care for a woman in labor must act with the highest standard of care and not make mistakes. Even one act of negligence can have devastating consequences. When labor is mismanaged, it puts both mom and baby at risk. If one of them is injured as a result of the mismanagement, the responsible medical professionals may be held responsible in a birth injury lawsuit.

What Is An Abnormal Labor?

Some of the problems associated with the last stage of labor include bleeding, prolonged labor, retention of the placenta, and abnormal perineal tearing. Any one of those complications can be a matter of life and death for the mother and baby when they are not correctly identified and promptly treated.

In normal progressions of labor, the cervix dilates and thins, and the baby descends the birth canal. If any of those progression indicators are stalled or delayed, medical providers need to determine whether it is a case of arrested or prolonged labor. Failure to manage labor properly can result in severe complications, including cerebral palsy or death caused by medical negligence.

What Are The Symptoms Of Mismanaged Labor?

Mismanagement of labor can lead to prolonged or arrested labor. Symptoms of mismanaged labor that leads to abnormal delivery processes include:

  • Maternal exhaustion and distress
  • Labor lasting 15 to 20 hours or longer
  • Diminished labor pains as a result of fatigued muscles
  • Back and side pain that radiates to the thighs (a result of the prolonged extreme pressure on the back)
  • Abnormal contraction patterns
  • Increased pulse rate in the mother due to exhaustion, stress, and dehydration
  • Painful and inflamed uterus due to not being able to relax fully between contractions
  • When determining whether mismanagement of labor occurred, a legal team is likely to review the following:
  • How long the labor lasted
  • The baby's heart rate pattern as recorded on a fetal monitor
  • The frequency and strength of the contractions, as well as the periods of relaxation of the uterus between contractions

What Are The Risks Of Mismanaged Labor?

Numerous complications can happen during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. There are always risks. However, doctors and other medical professionals should be able to recognize these issues and treat them appropriately. If labor is allowed to progress for too long, the baby and the mother may suffer serious health risks.

Some of the potential risks to the baby include:

  • Permanent injury
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Trauma
  • Brain damage
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb's palsy
  • Kernicterus
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Death
  • Some of the potential risks to the mother include:
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Infection
  • Extremely low or high blood pressure
  • Severe vaginal or uterine tears
  • Injury to uterus, bladder, or bowel
  • Lack of control over urination
  • Death

Living With A Birth Injury Caused By Mismanaged Labor

Birth injuries resulting from mismanaged labor can have lifelong effects on a child. In some cases, children suffering these types of birth injuries may need specialized treatments depending on the severity of their injuries.

Fortunately, many treatment options are available to help families with injured children. Mobility aids, assistive devices, medications, surgeries, and several different types of therapy can help these children become as independent as possible and have a higher quality of life. But unfortunately, those treatment options can be very expensive.

Parents and caregivers are likely to feel financial strain due to treatment expenses and loss of income when providing long-term care for their children. If it is determined that mismanaged labor caused the injuries, a birth injury lawsuit may be able to help ease the financial burden.

Help Filing A Birth Injury Claim

If you believe that a medical professional mismanaged your labor and that caused injuries to you or your baby, you may have a valid birth injury claim. Birth injury medical malpractice cases are essential in preventing cases like these from happening to other families. They also help ensure high standards of care in the medical community are maintained.

Working with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, like one at Ross Feller Casey, can help your family hold doctors who delivered your baby liable for their mismanagement and help you receive financial compensation for mounting medical expenses.

At Ross Feller Casey, our team includes on-staff medical doctors who can review medical records and determine where mismanagement occurred. We have an unmatched winning track record with these types of cases for families just like yours. Let us assess your case free of charge. We don't get paid until we settle or win your case. 

Disclaimer: Ross Feller Casey, LLP provides legal advice only after an attorney-client relationship is formed. Our website is an introduction to the firm and does not create a relationship between our attorneys and clients. An attorney-client relationship is formed only after a written agreement is signed by the client and the firm. Because every case is unique, the description of awards and summary of cases successfully handled are not intended to imply or guarantee that same success in other cases. Ross Feller Casey, LLP represents catastrophically injured persons and their families in injury and wrongful death cases, providing legal representation in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.