During the birth of a child, the labor and delivery room becomes a hub of activity. There may be several different health professionals coming and going during the labor. Everyone must be communicating with each other and working as part of a well-oiled team. Unfortunately, all it takes is for one of those individuals to fail in their duty of care for a preventable birth injury to happen. This could be the obstetrician, a nurse, a midwife, or other health professionals. If the mother's and child's health and well-being are not adequately monitored, it could lead to risks and complications not being appropriately handled. If you have experienced this, you might want to discuss your case with a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville.
Handling Risks & Complications
There will always be inherent risks involved during the birth of a child. There are a multitude of things that can go wrong. However, your medical provider should monitor the situation closely to spot early warning signs and be fully prepared to handle any complications that arise. However, if these situations are not properly addressed, they can, unfortunately, result in a birth injury or even the death of the child or mother. When this happens, a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville can help you to prove that medical negligence was a factor in the resulting injury.
Some of the common situations where medical malpractice during labor and delivery arises include:
- Improper monitoring of labor induction procedures such as cervical ripening
- Incorrect dosage of medications such as Pitocin during labor
- Using incorrect procedures for shoulder dystocia
- Not monitoring or responding appropriately to fetal distress at any time during labor and delivery.
- The incorrect use of forceps, vacuum extraction, or other delivery tools
- Delay in transferring the mother to surgery for a cesarean section
- Delays in diagnosing Respiratory Distress Syndrome in the child
Common Birth Injuries Affecting Mothers
A lot of the time, when hearing the words birth injury, thoughts will automatically turn to the newborn infant. However, mothers can also be victims of preventable injury during labor and childbirth and may find themselves in need of a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville. Childbirth is not a painless experience for most; delivering a child can be traumatic for the mother's body. When it comes to maternal birth injuries, it comes down to understanding where the line between expected pain and discomfort and a more severe injury lies. This can be especially difficult for first-time mothers who perhaps don't know exactly how much pain is acceptable following childbirth. If you are at all in doubt, you might want to talk to a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville to find out if you have a potential lawsuit.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the most common maternal birth injuries:
- Vaginal Tearing - Vaginal tearing is something that can happen at any birth and should be expected to some extent. However, there are varying degrees of tearing, and the most severe can require surgical intervention. One of the common reasons for the more severe tears can be the incorrect use of forceps during delivery which could be considered medical negligence.
- Broken Bones - We often hear of babies being delivered with fractures and broken bones, but did you know that mothers can also break bones during delivery? One of the most common is a fractured coccyx or separated pubic symphysis.
- Uterine Rupture - This is a rare condition that can happen before or during the delivery. It can occur if the baby is large, especially when the mother already has scar tissue from a previous C-section, but it can also happen due to other trauma during the birth. Suppose the baby, the placenta, or both get into the abdominal cavity via a tear in the uterus. In that case, it can result in severe complications, including urologic injuries, hemorrhage, and even death.
- Nerve Damage - Mothers may suffer from various problems due to nerve damage sustained during childbirth. Femoral nerve damage can cause weakness or numbness in the legs, while damage to the pelvic and pudendal nerves can result in incontinence.
How Common is Maternal Birth Injury?
Maternal birth injury is far more common than you might think. However, it often goes unreported either because the women don't realize that it is not the norm following giving birth or because they are too embarrassed to broach the subject with a doctor, never mind a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville. Several studies have been conducted through the years that show just how prevalent maternal birth injury is.
- 77% of mothers suffer persistent back pain for at least a year after giving birth
- 49% of women say they have had some degree of urinary incontinence following childbirth
- 29% of women who had an MRI within six weeks of delivery had pelvic fractures they never knew about
If you believe you have suffered from a maternal birth injury or your newborn was injured during the delivery, talk with a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville today and find out if you have a valid lawsuit.
Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice Law, Birth Injury Law, Trucking Accident Law, Personal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at www.bvblaw.com or call 865-637-3531.
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