After 40 weeks of gestation and possibly a day or longer in labor, a new mother will want nothing more than to hold her healthy newborn baby. Unfortunately, some mothers who have just gone through the trials of childbirth learn shortly thereafter that something went wrong.
The baby may have a brain injury or another traumatic injury inflicted during childbirth, sometimes because of a mistake made by the medical professionals assisting with labor and delivery. A birth injury could mean a lifetime of reduced earning potential for mother and child alike, and she may have to sacrifice some of her career ambitions to serve as a caregiver. It may also mean exceptional medical expenses.
Failing to act
One of the most common forms of obstetric malpractice involves the failure to intervene quickly when something goes wrong. Often, a failure to place or actually review the data from fetal heart rate monitors will contribute to a delay in medical interventions that could cause brain damage and other negative consequences for the unborn child.
Triggering a cascade of unnecessary interventions
Sometimes, the rapid response of medical professionals is the only way to save a woman’s life when she hemorrhages during childbirth or save a child when they go into distress during labor. However, often labor progresses on its own without any professional support. Doctors that unnecessarily intervene early in labor can trigger what others call a cascade of interventions that will interfere with the birth process and increase the likelihood of serious injury to the mother and or child.
Failing to adhere to professional standards
Maybe the doctor overseeing the labor believes that there are certain medications not commonly used during labor and delivery that can help the woman speed up the process. Administering those drugs against FDA recommendations despite a warning about their use in pregnant women could constitute medical malpractice. There are also doctors who do things that are obviously negligent, like drinking a cocktail on their meal break. Any care that deviates from best practices or violates current guidelines may open a medical practitioner up to allegations of malpractice.
When the circumstances seem to indicate that the healthcare providers facilitating a live birth made a mistake that led to an injury, it may be time to consider filing a malpractice claim. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a medical professional or their employer can help to compensate those harmed by substandard care at a birthing facility.