Giving birth to a child should be a joyous occasion for you and your family. However, almost seven babies in every 1000 born in the United States will suffer a birth injury. Statistics from the National Partnership for Women & Families suggest that around 50% of those injuries should have been avoidable with the appropriate planning and care from the medical provider. These are the occasions when you may need the services of an experienced birth injury lawyer in Knoxville, TN.

Many different types of birth injuries can occur. Some are more serious than others. Often, the injuries can result from the techniques used during the delivery, including the improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction. At other times, a medical professional may decide to induce labor in an attempt to avoid complications if it seems the baby may be in distress. However, this in itself can carry the risk of birth injury as well. Let’s look at birth injuries linked to induction and when these should be discussed with a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville, TN.

Why Would a Doctor Recommend Inducing Birth?

We need to state that many women have their labor induced without any harmful repercussions. We are not suggesting that all inductions will end in a birth injury. If your doctor believes that it is in the best interest of you and your child, then they will explain the decision and discuss possible risks. This is important for your informed consent. Some of the situations where it is likely to be beneficial for a doctor to recommend inducing labor include:

  1. In the event of ruptured membranes prior to labor after 37 weeks of gestation.
  2. When pregnancy has lasted for longer than 41 weeks without signs of laboring starting naturally.
  3. In the event of the mother exhibiting high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia when at full term.

In these situations, inducing labor may be the safest option for the mother and/or baby. If all procedures are followed correctly, there should be a minimal amount of risk involved in most cases.

Possible Complications of Inducing Labor

As with any medical procedure, some inherent risks are involved with inducing labor. In addition, if induction is not medically necessary or if the medical provider behaves negligently during the process, those risks are elevated. They could result in you seeking out a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville, TN. Some of the complications that can be linked to inducing labor include:

  • Failed Induction - In approximately 25% of inductions, the woman’s cervix is unripened. This increases the risk of labor stalling resulting in the need for an emergency caesarian section.
  • Infection - If labor is induced by manually rupturing the membranes, there is an increased risk of infection for both mother and baby. If it is proven that a medical provider did not adequately sterilize tools prior to the procedure, this could be grounds for involving a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville.
  • Low Heart Rate - It is common to administer certain drugs to induce labor. These include oxytocin and other prostaglandins. For some women, this can cause excessive contractions leading to a decreased oxygen supply and low heart rate for the baby.
  • Uterine Rupture - One of the rarer complications that can occur in induced labor is a uterine rupture. This happens when the uterus tears along the scar from a previous c-section or other uterine surgery. It usually results in an emergency c-section within 30 minutes, and in around 13% of cases, the uterus may need to be removed. Your doctor needs to be aware of scarring present in the uterus so that they can monitor this throughout the pregnancy and delivery. Many babies delivered during a uterine rupture will have permanent brain injuries.
  • Post-Partum Hemorrhaging - When labor is induced, there is an increased chance that the uterine muscles will not contract properly after the birth, which will result in severe bleeding.

Some of the complications described above could happen no matter how careful your medical team is. All medical procedures carry a degree of risk, but they can also be made riskier by negligent behavior. That can result in injury to either the mother or the newborn infant. Some of those injuries may be minor and will be resolved easily. Others can have a long-term impact. Those injuries will require a consultation with an experienced birth injury lawyer in Knoxville, TN.



Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice LawBirth Injury LawTrucking Accident LawPersonal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at or call 865-637-3531.

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