Prolonged labor is related to numerous birth injuries because doctors must make difficult decisions when complications threaten the well-being of the child during delivery. If a mother has been in labor for more than eighteen hours, doctors may choose to administer drugs to assist with contractions, implement the use of forceps or vacuum devices, or elect to perform an emergency cesarean section to minimize the risk of injury to both mother and child. While most injuries sustained during birth are minor and self-resolving, improper use of medical equipment, the failure to properly identify fetal distress and poor post birth monitoring may all cause or contribute to more serious injuries that impact the child’s quality of life. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers a law firm representing the victims and families of those who have been injured due to medical malpractice or negligence.Risks Associated with Prolonged Labor
Prolonged labor contributes to the majority of injuries sustained during delivery and is often evidence of a more serious complication that is preventing delivery of the child. The child’s head may be too large to fit through the birth canal or the child may be in breech or an awkward position which makes it difficult to pass through the canal. The strength and frequency of contractions may also contribute to prolonged labor. Regardless of the reason for the extended period of labor, the child is often at risk— following are some common complications associated with prolonged labor.
- Asphyxia which is defined as a lack of oxygen to the brain that is caused by some form of blockage such as a nuchal cord or damage to the placenta, which supplies the child with oxygen.
- Low fetal heart rate.
- Low maternal blood pressure.
- Compression of the umbilical cord.
- Premature detachment of the placenta from the uterine wall.
Complications caused by prolonged labor may require a doctor to order the use of forceps, a vacuum assisted delivery or an emergency cesarean section, depending on the circumstances and the complications. Improper use of extraction devices such as forceps and vacuum extractors are the primary cause of severe birth injuries but the failure of staff to monitor and test the child after birth in order to prevent long term complications also constitutes medical malpractice. It has been proven that the majority of injuries that result in long term conditions can be prevented with proper testing and monitoring and there is no reason a newborn child should suffer injuries that impact the rest of his or her life.
If your child was injured during birth and you believe that the hospital staff may have caused or contributed to the injuries, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to speak with a birth injury lawyer. Our consultations are free of charge and we will thoroughly examine the details of your case, explore your legal options with you and answer any questions you may have about the legal process. Our offices are located throughout the greater Chicago area and we are able to serve clients throughout the entire state of Illinois.