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
- Cephalopelvic Disproportion
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.
- Gestational Diabetes
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.
- Perinatal Asphyxia
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.
- Postpartum Hemorrhage
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 brain damage.
- Uterine Rupture
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.