The CDC reports that 50,000 women in the United States each year experience severe complications during childbirth, with between 700 to 900 mothers dying. Complications can lead to lasting damage to the mother and her child or children, both in physical terms and financial. Medical malpractice lies at the heart of many of these complications, often due to neglect by a care provider to follow proper procedures or to listen to the mother.
If you’re worried you’ll experience complications during birth, keep reading to find out what you can do if you or your loved one are in this position. Knowing the following information in advance can help you understand what to do if complications happen.
What Types of Complications Are Common During Childbirth?
Some types of complications are more common than others during childbirth. Both women and their children can suffer from them. These are the dangers you could face the during childbirth:
- Early labor: If a woman’s water breaks prior to the 34 week mark of their pregnancy, a mother will be placed under watch in a hospital. She becomes at risk of infection if the labor does not progress within 24 hours after the water has broken.
- Slow labor: A long labor can put extreme stress on the mother’s body, and it may endanger her life as well as the child’s.
- Bleeding: A woman who suffers extensive bleeding during childbirth from tearing of the uterus will often die. A child can also become endangered and may be unable to breathe or can also die.
- Perineal tearing: The perineum is the name of the tissue between the vagina and anus. This may tear during labor or the woman may receive a surgical cut known as an episiotomy to create more room for the child.
- Injuries to the infant: There are various birth injury types babies are at risk for, especially if a medical professional mismanages the second stage of labor. An infant may suffer from a lack of oxygen due to perinatal asphyxia or broken bones due to shoulder dystocia, during which the child is stuck inside the womb by its shoulders. They may also suffer from problems with their umbilical cord.
This list is not exhaustive, and you may face or have faced other complications or a combination of the above.
What Do I Do if You Had Complications During Childbirth?
If you suffered from complications while giving birth to your child, it’s important to identify exactly what your complications were. Your child’s health may be at risk as well as your own if you aren’t made aware of what happened. Children who are deprived of oxygen are at special risk of developing lifelong complications such as brain and behavior problems or physical paralysis. You will also want to obtain documentation of the events leading up to the complication as well as any pertaining to the event itself.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Securing the help of an attorney can also help you after you’ve had complications from childbirth if you believe these were due to neglect. Birth injuries can leave their victims with a lifetime of high medical bills, physical injuries, and potentially even death. An attorney can help you investigate your complications, determine if there is a case, and represent you as you navigate through the complex legal process.
When searching for an attorney, find one that specializes in cases involving complications during childbirth. Birth injury lawyers with years of experience in representing and winning these types of cases will know what to expect from a typical case, how to talk to the hospital, and what information and evidence to look for to support your case.