Pregnancy, birth, and the first weeks with her newborn baby are some of the most poignant, cherished moments in a mother’s life. Tragically, some new mothers will never experience them due to maternal injury. Maternal injuries occur prior, during, or immediately after childbirth, often causing significant bodily harm to the mother. Some injuries are treatable, while others can result in permanent disability and even death.
Maternal injuries may be the result of infections, obscure disorders, and surgical mistakes, but one of the most common causes is excessive bleeding. Every single year mothers suffer injury and death because of blood loss, known as postpartum hemorrhaging, during and after labor. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 5 in 100 mothers will experience excessive bleeding.
Causes of Postpartum Hemorrhaging
Postpartum hemorrhaging has many different causes. In most cases, it is related to an issue with the placenta. After birth, the placenta must detach and pass through the birth canal along with the afterbirth. If the placenta fails to detach properly, severe bleeding could result.
Hemorrhaging is also frequently caused by:
- A large for gestational age (LGA) baby
- Pitocin or oxytocin induced labor
- Delivery problems
- Babies with hypertensive disorder
- Blood clotting disorders
Other risk factors include multiple pregnancies, previous c-sections, and giving birth to multiple babies.
If hemorrhaging occurs for too long, a variety of health complications can ensue. The mother could experience shock, stroke, and death.
Postpartum Hemorrhaging Lawsuits
Like many other health complications, postpartum hemorrhaging is sometimes unavoidable. However, in many instances, it could have been prevented.
Doctors are required to monitor blood loss during and after labor. If the mother begins hemorrhaging blood, they have a series of techniques at their disposal to get the bleeding under control.
Unfortunately, even competent, experienced doctors fail to follow established standards of care, often to catastrophic results.
A host of different physician errors can cause postpartum hemorrhaging, including:
- Failure to monitor the mother’s blood pressure
- Failure to monitor the mother’s red blood cell count
- Failure to recognize a condition or risk factor that makes the mother vulnerable to excessive blood loss.
- Surgical error
Contact a Chicago Maternal Injury Lawyer
Serious maternal injury, such as postpartum hemorrhaging, can turn what should be a joyous occasion into a heart-wrenching event. Even if the mother and baby survive, they may be left with permanent disabilities, medical debt, and lost wages. The tragedy is compounded knowing the injury could have been avoided if a medical professional had simply established standards of care.
Thankfully, mothers and babies have rights. If you or a loved one suffered a maternal injury because of negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
The first step is to contact an experienced Chicago maternal injury lawyer. An experienced attorney can evaluate your case and provide you with options. If litigation is pursued, your attorney can launch a thorough investigation to uncover the truth.
Chicago, Illinois residents should not hesitate to reach out. Call the Birth Injury Law Alliance at 312-462-4200 and a member of our helpful staff will help you set up a free initial consultation.