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3 ways health care professionals can contribute to birth injuries

Birth may be a natural process, but it is one fraught with risk for both the mother and her unborn child. There is a possibility that the mother or the child could suffer a lifelong injury.

Birth injuries range from trauma to the eyes caused by forceps to cerebral palsy resulting from oxygen deprivation during labor. Some birth injuries are the tragic results of unforeseeable circumstances, but others are preventable. In some cases, the medical professionals assisting in a birth could be directly responsible for causing injury to a patient and their unborn child.

What are some of the ways that hospital staff might cause birth injuries? 

They don’t properly monitor the fetus

Fetal heart rate monitoring is one of the most important ways for health care professionals to protect the unborn child. There are often no external signs when an unborn child goes into distress because of a pinched umbilical cord or similar issue.

Only by tracking a child’s heart rate and taking immediate steps to intervene when it slows down or speeds up can health professionals minimize the risk of birth injuries. 

They employ unsafe or unnecessary treatments

Although labor could take days, not every OB-GYN is patient enough to let a woman’s body handle the process naturally. Some doctors will do their best to speed up the labor process by administering drugs or even using physical tools.

Intervening when it is not necessary or employing the wrong interventions could do far more harm to mother and child than good.

They deviate from best practices

Different medical specialties have best practices established for the safety of patients. These are general practice guidelines that promote the best outcomes. Hospitals may have their own rules regarding interventions during labor and delivery.

From ensuring that they only use drugs approved for use in pregnant women to reviewing hospital policies, doctors and nurses should ensure that they follow the appropriate standards established for labor and delivery care. When they fail to do so, their oversights and mistakes could have life-altering consequences for an expectant mother and her unborn child.

Pursuing a medical malpractice claim can compensate your family for the impact of a recent, preventable birth injury.