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This Is What Happens When a Doctor Makes an Error in the Delivery Room

Any room in a hospital, whether it be an operating room, a delivery room, or a simple exam room, must be an error-free environment. This is because medical errors can leave patients with serious or permanent injuries.

Such errors are more common than we realize. According to a 2013 study, medical errors result in approximately 210,000 to 440,000 deaths per year. If the latter number is accurate, then medical errors would be the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.

While not every mother or child who experiences a birth injury will die, many will be left with permanent physical or psychological injuries. Learn precisely what may happen when a doctor makes an error in the delivery room.

Babies May Suffer Permanent Injuries

Medical errors and birth injuries happen at an alarming rate in the delivery room. In fact, approximately 1.9 per 1,000 live births in the United States involve a birth injury. Such birth injuries are most commonly caused by a doctor:

  • Failing to monitor the mother and child for signs of distress
  • Failing to order a C-section when necessary
  • Using birth assistance tools, such as a forceps or vacuum, incorrectly
  • Pulling or twisting the infant too hard during delivery

Such errors can lead to permanent birth injuries, including the following:

These birth injuries can have devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences for the child and the parents. Often, permanent birth injuries prevent a child from ever living on their own or earning an income.

a crying baby

While birth defects occur when the child is in the womb and cannot always be prevented, birth injuries occur during birth and can be prevented.

Mothers May Experience Trauma

A difficult birth can be traumatic for the mother. Women may develop post-traumatic stress disorder after a traumatic birth in which their doctor did not respect their wishes or injured their child during the process.

For example, there have been several recorded instances of women receiving forced episiotomies against their will. This procedure involves cutting a woman’s perineum during labor; it can be difficult for this wound to heal properly.

This is only one example of women being abused during childbirth. It’s an experience that happens far too often, with approximately 16% of women reporting such abuse. According to reports, the five most common forms of maternal mistreatment by doctors include:

  • Shouting or scolding (8.5%)
  • Ignoring or refusing requests for help (7.8%)
  • Violating physical privacy (5.5%)
  • Threatening to withhold treatment or forced a treatment the patient didn’t want (4.5%)
  • Threatening in any other way (2.1%)

Such experiences may cause women to lose all trust in the medical industry.

a woman comforting her baby

One in six women experiences mistreatment in childbirth.

Did Your Child Suffer a Birth Injury? We’re Here to Help

If you or your child were injured during the labor and delivery process, our team at Brown & Barron, LLC can help determine whether a negligent medical professional was responsible.

Call Brown & Barron, LLC at (410) 698-1717 to schedule a free consultation.

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