Timing is a critical issue in a baby’s birth. When labor is not progressing normally, doctors may need to induce or speed up labor using various medical techniques. Unfortunately, labor induction is not without its risks. Mothers and babies can suffer birth injuries when labor is not induced properly, labor is prolonged, or the doctors fail to recognize the need for an emergency C-section.
Why Would a Doctor Induce Labor?
Labor induction involves various methods that stimulate uterine contractions and speed up the birth of a baby. A doctor might recommend labor induction when a pregnant woman is more than two weeks overdue, or medical concerns make induction the safest choice. Placental abruption, gestational diabetes, infections, and pre-labor rupture of membranes may all cause a doctor to recommend labor induction. Doctors have a legal “duty of care” to provide reasonably skillful medical care to patients. This includes thoroughly assessing the situation and determining what course of action is in the mother and baby’s best interests. If the risks associated with labor induction are lower than the risks of continuing without inducing labor, the doctor will suggest labor induction.
What Can Go Wrong During Labor Induction?
Labor induction works about three-fourths of the time. If labor induction does not produce the desired results, the mother may need an emergency C-section. Doctors have a very limited window of time during which they must determine if an emergency C-section is necessary. A delayed c-section can lead to significant birth injuries to the baby, including brain damage. Certain medications used to induce labor, including Pitocin and Cytotec (synthetic versions of the hormones prostaglandin and oxytocin), can cause abnormal contractions that lead to low fetal heart rate and reduced oxygen to the baby. The infant may suffer from brain injuries including hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), and cystic encephalomalacia. Mothers may also suffer injuries caused by labor induction, including Infections, bleeding, and a serious complication called uterine rupture.
Contact a Cook County Birth Injury Lawyer to Learn More
When labor is not progressing normally, doctors may choose to induce labor. However, labor induction is associated with certain risks that can cause significant or even fatal harm to the infant or mother. If negligent medical care before, during, or after labor induction causes injury to an infant or mother, the doctor who acted negligently may be liable for damages. The mother and/or family may be entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages from missed work, pain and suffering, and more.
To learn more, call an experienced Chicago birth injury attorney at Birth Injury Law Alliance, LLC. Call 312-462-4200 for a free consultation.