Delivery Room Errors

Experienced Attorneys in Baltimore, Maryland Serving Clients Nationwide

Most babies are delivered at a hospital in a labor and delivery room. If there are complications during the delivery, the mother may be transferred to a delivery room with additional medical equipment. A variety of delivery room errors can result in devastating birth injuries, which can be the result of improper fetal monitoring or the failure to take preventative action when warning signs occur. The majority of delivery room errors result in debilitating and lasting injuries.

The most severe cases result in a lifetime of medical care and special needs, or even death.

Sometimes when babies are born, especially if they are premature, they can have trouble breathing. If a baby is in severe respiratory distress intubation may be required. Intubation is when the doctor puts a tube down the baby’s throat to deliver oxygen to the baby’s lungs. This assists the baby with breathing. Prior to intubation, it is critical that the neonatologist select the correct size tube. If a tube is too small or too large it will not work and the baby will not get the necessary oxygen. If a baby goes to long without oxygen when he or she is in respiratory distress after delivery, the baby can experience acidosis and ultimately brain damage. An intubation tube also needs to be placed correctly to make sure it is working adequately. A color coded monitor lets the physician know it if is working correctly. Sometimes physicians fail to use the monitor and just assume that an endotracheal tube is placed correctly. Then when the baby is transferred to the nursery and starts to look sick it is too late. The baby has already suffered injury because the physician did not take the simple step of confirming that the intubation tube was properly placed.

Premature babies are especially delicate and require special attention in the immediate newborn period. A common delivery room error occurs when the obstetrical and nursing staff fail to ensure that the necessary personnel are present at delivery to take care of a premature baby. Premature babies can be born with respiratory problems, infections and other problems. It is key that the proper personnel be in attendance at the time of delivery so the appropriate level of care can be delivered to the premature baby.

Another delivery room error occurs when the obstetrical staff fail to recognize that a baby is not going to be delivered vaginally. Babies can often get stuck in the birth canal making it impossible for the baby to be born naturally. In those cases, a cesarean section is required. A common precursor to a baby getting stuck are arrest disorders such as arrest of descent and arrest of dilatation. Arrest of descent occurs when the baby fails to descend down the birth canal through the natural forces of labor. Arrest of dilatation occurs when a mother’s cervix fails to dilate through the natural forces of labor. These arrest disorders are often misdiagnosed, which can result in the mother unnecessarily attempting to push her baby out of the birth canal.

Birth injuries that result from delivery room mistakes and failures typically occur when hospital staff are poorly trained or act negligently. In addition to improper intubation, and failing to diagnose arrest disorders, other common errors include the failure to monitor vital signs, the failure to perform a Caesarean section, or the failure to administer medication. Common birth injuries include cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, brain damage, shoulder dystocia, hematoma, and facial paralysis. If your child has suffered a birth injury and you believe it is the result of a medical mistake in the delivery room, you and your family may be eligible for compensation, which can be recovered by our medical malpractice lawyers.

Contact the Law Offices of Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt for a free evaluation.

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