Mismanaged Pregnancy Complications Can Cause Serious Birth Injuries
We’ve been doing this a long time, and unfortunately what we often
see is incidents where a pregnancy complication turned into an avoidable
birth injury. Many pregnancies experience complications, but doctors and
other medical professionals are trained in procedures to properly manage
these complications in order to mitigate risk.
What are pregnancy complications?
Pregnancy complications can involve the baby’s health, the mother’s
health, or both. Health conditions that can lead to complications can
appear before a woman becomes pregnancy, or after. According to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of the most common pregnancy
complications include anemia, UTIs, high blood pressure, gestational diabetes,
and infections. When these conditions are undetected and managed improperly,
they can lead to possible permanent harm to the baby. For example, untreated
gestational diabetes can lead to preeclampsia and infections can lead
to permanent brain damage.
List of Common Pregnancy Complications
Some pregnant mothers are diagnosed with CPD when labor stalls. Typically,
this is characterized by the infant’s head being too large or mother’s
pelvis too small to pass the baby vaginally. Inaccurate or untimely diagnosis
of CPD can lead to the doctor trying vaginal delivery too long, rather
than choosing the safer option of cesarean section.
Fetal Distress & Oxygen Deprivation
Signs of fetal distress, including oxygen deprivation, can include slow
heartbeat, bleeding, rapidly changing movements, irregular cardiotocography
readings, and meconium-stained amniotic fluid. Improper fetal monitoring
can mean these signs go undetected, leading to permanent injury or death.
If untreated or undiagnosed, gestational diabetes can result in premature
delivery, high birth weight, preeclampsia, respiratory distress of the
infant, and more.
Large Fetus Complications
When a fetus is more than 9 pounds and 15 ounces, doctors usually diagnose
fetal macrosomia. Improperly managed large babies can cause uterine rupture,
shoulder dystocia, and more.
During labor, the baby’s brain can be deprived of oxygen. If the
baby suffers from hypoxia (lack of oxygen) for too long, it can suffer
permanent brain damage, which can lead to other complications like cerebral palsy.
Perinatal Hypoxia and Anoxia
Hypoxia describes diminished oxygen while anoxia describes a lack of oxygen
altogether. Causes include placental abruption, maternal anemia, umbilical
cord problems, and improper fetal monitoring to detect distress.
Mothers who experience substantial blood loss after labor and delivery
may be diagnosed with postpartum hemorrhage. Potential causes include
cesarean section, difficult labor, uterine atony, and more. Certain precautions
should be taken before and after labor if a doctor believes the mother
is at risk.
Preeclampsia / HELLP Syndrome
Preeclampsia is the second leading cause of maternal death in the nation,
and the leading cause of complications in infants. If untreated, the condition
can lead to serious permanent injuries and even death.
Prolapsed Umbilical Cord
This occurs when the umbilical cord is delivered before the baby. This
can cut off blood supply and cause oxygen deprivation to the infant.
Umbilical Cord Entrapment
The infant can suffer serious harm if the umbilical cord becomes trapped
around its neck, depriving it of oxygen and potentially causing permanent
This condition has the potential to harm both baby and mother. Symptoms
include changes in baby’s heartrate, bleeding, increased heart rate
in mother, and CPD.
Finding Out If You Have a Claim
To learn if you have a claim, we invite you to contact Hampton & King.
Pursuing a claim after a birth injury could mean pursuing the compensation
your child needs for ongoing treatment and care. Our Houston birth injury
lawyers also pursue compensation for grieving parents whose infant died
because of an injury during labor or delivery. Call us today for a free
evaluation of your legal rights and options.