Although babies are born every day, complications during childbirth can result in serious to fatal injuries. Even if a woman is not considered high risk and has a pregnancy without any medical issues, problems can sometimes occur during labor and delivery if she is not closely monitored. If delivering at a hospital, medical staff have a duty of care to keep the mother and baby safe. However, when there is a lapse in judgment or training, medical mistakes or errors can be made. This may be considered medical malpractice or negligence if birth injuries occur as a result. If you or your child suffered an injury during childbirth, it is important to determine liability and hold the appropriate parties accountable. A reputable medical malpractice attorney can help you pursue a personal injury claim. 

Life-Threatening Complications

In the United States, statistics show that hundreds of women die during childbirth every year. Just as concerning is the alarming rate of serious maternal injuries, referred to as severe maternal morbidity. Affecting mothers in over 1 percent of all births, or approximately 50,000 cases every year, these injuries may be caused if medical staff does not take proper precautions or actions to ensure the safety of the baby and mother. 

Serious complications that can harm the mother while she is giving birth may include:

  • Preeclampsia – If a mother experiences dangerously high blood pressure before, during, or after birth, this can put her life at risk, as well as increase her chances of heart disease or stroke in the future.

  • Amniotic fluid embolism – When amniotic fluid from the uterus enters a mother’s bloodstream, it may trigger an immune response that can cause blood clotting, respiratory failure, or cardiac arrest. In some cases, it can prove fatal for the mother. 

  • Infection or sepsis – Infectious diseases contracted by a mother during pregnancy or childbirth can be life-threatening since they often turn into sepsis, an inflammatory response that can damage vital organs, possibly causing them to shut down entirely. 

  • Hemorrhage – Severe blood loss during or after childbirth can be caused by several factors, such as uterine rupture, placental abruption, or vaginal lacerations. Depending on the circumstances, a mother may need a blood transfusion. 

  • Heart attack – Women can go into cardiac arrest during or after childbirth. Postpartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) can occur toward the end of a pregnancy or up to five months after giving birth. With this condition, the heart chambers enlarge and the muscle weakens, causing less blood flow, and ultimately affecting the lungs, liver, and other organs.

  • Cesarean delivery – Also known as a C-section, this surgical procedure is often necessary if the baby or mother is in distress, made through incisions in the abdomen and uterus. As with any surgery, complications such as blood loss, clotting, adverse reaction to anesthesia, infection, and more can occur.  

In some cases, it is possible that labor induction techniques or medication and Cesarean deliveries that are not medically necessary can lead to the increased likelihood of complications during a child’s delivery that negatively impact the mother’s health and wellbeing. An experienced attorney can help determine if medical errors or negligence during the pregnancy or birth caused these injuries.   

Contact a Joliet Personal Injury Lawyer

The birth of a child after a long pregnancy is a momentous occasion, filled with hope and happiness. Unfortunately, childbirth does not always go as planned. If you or your baby were harmed during labor and delivery, a diligent Will County medical malpractice attorney at McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC can help. We have handled all types of personal injury claims, bringing justice on behalf of their clients, and we will carefully review the details of your case to find out exactly what complications led to your injury. Call us today at 815-727-0100 to arrange your free consultation.



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