Labor can be long and challenging for mother and child under the best circumstances. When labor is prolonged, it can result in serious health consequences. In some cases, these consequences could last a lifetime. Sometimes, doctors and hospitals are liable for prolonged labor in Maryland.
Our firm could help you pursue justice following prolonged labor. The injuries and health complications that can come with prolonged labor are especially distressing if you learn they were avoidable. A civil lawsuit could provide you with financial compensation for those complications.
When Negligence Causes Prolonged Labor
Doctors cannot always control the pace at which labor occurs. While there are steps they can take to manage the process, labor can become prolonged for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, these reasons often result from mistakes or errors caused by the medical provider. When doctors, nurses, or hospital staff negligently allow prolonged labor, they could be liable for any injuries that occur.
Prolonged labor often occurs as the result of failure to monitor the health of either the mother or the infant. It is especially important to monitor the baby’s heart rate in an effort to address fetal distress. Prolonged fetal distress could result in devastating consequences that could have been avoided with proper monitoring.
Monitoring is only part of the equation. If it becomes clear that the baby is in distress and intervention is necessary, the doctor must act quickly. One of the most common ways to address this type of distress is through an emergency C-section.
Lack of training also has the potential to result in prolonged labor. This is especially common when it comes to nurses who are tasked with monitoring the status of the baby and the mother when the doctor is not present. When these errors happen, the hospital could be directly liable for any harm that comes to the mother or child. The facility is most often at fault because of the lack of adequate training or for failing to provide the appropriate staffing levels.
Risks of Prolonged Labor
Prolonged labor places mothers and infants at increased risk of a number of health conditions, including cerebral palsy. Regardless of why the labor was prolonged, serious consequences could occur. Few consequences are more significant than the risk of asphyxia, or lack of oxygen to the brain. This can occur when the baby’s head or neck is compressed during labor. The longer labor is prolonged, the more likely this condition could become fatal.
Prolonged labor could also put the mother at risk. As time goes on, maternal blood pressure could drop, putting her health at risk. Other risks mothers could face due to prolonged labor include intrauterine infection and postpartum hemorrhaging.
Pursuing Compensation Following Prolonged Labor
If you believe your child has sustained a birth injury due to prolonged labor, you could be entitled to file a lawsuit on their behalf. This lawsuit could target any of the parties responsible for the prolonged labor.
Doctors are often the first parties to face liability for prolonged labor. After all, the doctor overseeing the birth is ultimately responsible for the health of the mother and the child. When doctors fail to carefully monitor the mother or allow a prolonged labor to continue despite signs of distress, they could be responsible for any injuries that occur.
Other parties could also be to blame. Nurses are frequently in a position where they are tasked with monitoring a mother’s vital signs. The failure to carefully monitor the mother could result in a prolonged labor. Finally, errors in hospital records could also result in dangerous, prolonged labor.
No matter who is targeted in a lawsuit, the proceeds of a successful malpractice case are typically paid by insurance companies. This is because hospitals and doctors typically carry extensive coverage, especially when it comes to childbirth.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Case for Compensation
If you have questions about when doctors and hospitals are liable for prolonged labor in Maryland, our firm could have the answers. Our attorneys understand how to evaluate birth injuries and hold the negligent hospital or doctor accountable.
The team at Brown & Barron is always prepared to advocate for mothers and newborns who failed to receive adequate care during labor. Prolonged labor is dangerous, and medical professionals who fail to prevent it should face responsibility. Reach out as soon as possible for your free consultation with our firm.