Expectant mothers in Pennsylvania often look forward to meeting their new babies and welcoming them into the world with great anticipation. Many mothers also consider the labor and delivery process with a degree of trepidation because of fears of the pain that they might experience. While mothers might worry about the pain involved with childbirth, few think that they might suffer birth injuries while giving birth.
Unfortunately, there is always a risk that mothers and infants might be injured during the labor and delivery process. When a mother sustains a serious injury while giving birth, the celebratory experience of welcoming a new child can also become a physically and emotionally devastating experience and affect the mother’s quality of life and relationships. Maternal birth injuries that are caused by medical negligence might give rise to viable medical malpractice claims. Here is some information about when a birth injury to a mother might form the basis of a malpractice claim from the attorneys at Raynes & Lawn.
Common Types Of Birth Injuries Mothers Might Suffer
Many things can go wrong during the labor and delivery process. Mothers might have complicated, prolonged deliveries, have abnormally large babies, or have other risk factors that place them at a higher risk of suffering birth injuries.
Some of the common types of birth injuries that mothers might suffer before, during, or after giving birth include the following:
- Vaginal tears – Can range in severity from grades one to four with four being the most serious and require surgery
- Hemorrhages – Uncontrolled bleeding that can cause mothers to go into shock and could result in death without prompt intervention
- Prolapsed pelvic organs – Uterus or bladder entering the vaginal canal and potentially exiting the body because of an undetached placenta and requiring immediate intervention
- Uterine rupture – Tears in the uterus caused by the stress of a large baby or the use of surgical instruments that can cause the baby and uterine contents to enter the abdominal cavity, cause severe bleeding, and cause organ damage
- Uncontrolled infections – Undiagnosed infections, including preeclampsia and others, that can lead to sepsis and shock
- Uterine inversion – Uterus turning inside out into the endometrium, which can result in death without emergency intervention
- Improper sutures – Stitching done incorrectly following a C-section or episiotomy
Some maternal birth injuries are unavoidable and are not the result of medical negligence. However, others are preventable and would not occur but for the medical mistakes made by the doctors, hospitals, midwives, or labor and delivery staff members. When a mother is seriously injured because of the medical negligence of the medical providers, she and her family might be entitled to pursue compensation through a medical malpractice claim for the losses they have suffered.
How To Claim Compensation For Maternal Birth Injuries
Complications during childbirth are not uncommon. When mothers suffer complications while going through labor and delivery, it is critical for the medical team members to respond quickly. When medical professionals fail to recognize the signs of an emergency situation and to act quickly, the mother and infant can suffer serious injuries. Some mothers can also be seriously injured when the doctors and other medical staff make mistakes when intervening.
In some cases, childbirth injuries to a mother are consequences of mistakes made by doctors, midwives, or others during labor and delivery. While some maternal injuries such as minor vaginal tears might pose minimal threats to the mother’s overall health, others can be life-altering and result in permanent harm.
Unfortunately, some mothers can lose their lives during childbirth. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 861 mothers died during childbirth in 2020. During that year, the maternal mortality rate was 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births.
When a maternal birth injury or fatality is caused by a doctor’s medical negligence, the mother or her family has a right to pursue compensation through a medical malpractice claim.
Filing a claim for compensation for birth injuries requires the victims or their surviving family members to prove the elements of medical negligence, including all of the following:
- There was a provider-patient relationship.
- The medical provider’s care violated the standard of care.
- The violation of the standard of care caused the mother’s injuries or death.
- The victim or surviving family suffered calculable losses as a result.
Proving these elements will require a thorough investigation. Pennsylvania requires medical malpractice plaintiffs to submit a certificate of merit attesting that their claims have been reviewed by medical experts who believe that the actions of the medical professionals failed to meet the standard of care and caused the plaintiffs’ injuries and losses.
How To Begin The Process Of Filing A Claim For Medical Negligence
To begin the process of filing a claim for medical negligence, you should start by consulting an experienced medical malpractice attorney at Raynes & Lawn. We work closely with medical experts and can review your claim. Your attorney will review your medical records, including the doctors’ and nurses’ notes, prescription records, diagnostic reports, and others. You will either need to gather your medical records, or we can get them for you.
Your attorney will consult with a medical expert to determine the relevant standard of care and whether the medical provider’s treatment failed to meet it. If the treatment violated the standard of care, we will then determine whether it caused your injuries and losses.
If the attorneys at Raynes & Lawn determine that you have a viable medical malpractice claim, we will explain your rights and the potential legal remedies. You can then decide whether to retain us to help you with your case. If you do, we will draft and file the civil complaint on your behalf and aggressively litigate the claim for you to try to hold the negligent medical providers accountable while also recovering the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling us at 1-800-535-1797.
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