SD is one of the most common and most serious labor and delivery emergencies. If the baby is too large to move down the mother’s narrow birth canal, the baby becomes lodged in the womb. When that happens, the umbilical cord keeps dropping. That can cause hypoxia (dangerous lack of oxygen), as the cord literally wraps itself around the baby’s neck. Cerebral palsy or another serious brain injury could result in as little as five minutes.
Since the clock is ticking loudly and the pressure is on, many doctors make poor choices. Frequently, these choices make a bad situation worse.
A serious brain injury causes a lifetime of medical bills, as well as emotional distress, for both the baby and the family. So, a Brandon personal injury attorney is usually able to obtain substantial compensation in these cases. Because of the doctor’s high duty of care, these damages also include significant punitive damages, in many cases. A damage cap might apply in some situations.
Once upon a time, obstetricians routinely made these incisions on the mother’s perineum (area between the anus and genitals). At the time, the thinking was that an episiotomy widened the mother’s birth canal. So, doctors usually performed this procedure whether the mother needed it or not.
Recently, however, several physician groups have advised doctors not to cut mothers in this way. The incisions often lead to uncontrollable maternal bleeding, since there is so much pressure on this area. Other possible side-effects include intense postpartum pain.
Violating a standard of care is evidence of negligence. That’s especially true in the doctor-patient context, because as mentioned, the standard of care is very high. Doctors have a fiduciary duty toward their patients. That is the highest standard of care in Florida law.
One of the oldest mechanical birth aids dates back to the seventeenth century. Modern forceps are not much different from the ones which first appeared in 1634. Then as now, obstetric forceps resembled large salad tongs. The doctor grips the baby’s head with the clamp and then tries to pull the baby out of the mother’s womb. Common complications include increased risk of:
- Infant nerve injury,
- Serious maternal lacerations,
- Infant face or head injury,
- Longer postpartum recovery, and
- Cervical or vaginal injuries.
When these injuries occur, the hospital or clinic that employed the doctor is usually legally responsible for damages. In most cases, these employers cannot pawn responsibility off on a nurse or other non-physician professional.
This gadget is basically high-tech forceps. The doctor places a metal cap on the baby’s head. The cap is attached to a surgical vacuum. Then, the doctor literally tries to suck the baby out of the mother’s womb.
Even if this procedure is successful, permanent infant face or head injuries are quite common. The good news is that these injuries are usually not degenerative and they normally never get worse. The bad news is they are permanent and they never get better.
Mechanical assistance injuries are especially troubling since there are a number of aids available, such as the McRoberts leg maneuver, which are usually effective and pose little or no risk to the mother or the baby.
Reach Out to Diligent Attorneys
A few moments of negligence in the delivery room often causes a lifetime of pain and suffering. For a free consultation with an experienced Brandon medical malpractice lawyer, contact Reed & Reed, Attorneys at Law. We have four area offices (St. Petersburg, Lakeland, Tampa, and Clearwater).