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
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