Maternal shock can happen to pregnant women during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or even up to six weeks after childbirth due to related complications. Maternal shock can be fatal, however, it is often preventable because the signs and symptoms are obvious. There is normally enough time to respond to them with proper treatment. Chicago birth injury lawyer explains Maternal Shock in detail.
Causes of maternal shock
Maternal shock is normally a result of inadequate supply of oxygen rich blood to tissues. But it can also result from other various medical conditions. During pregnancy and delivery, it’s often caused by septic infection or hemorrhaging.
Maternal shock can seriously affect the health of the mother as well as that of the baby. The baby can suffer injury because of inadequate uterine perfusion and oxygen supply. Uterine blood flow is not auto-regulated, which means the uterus cannot control blood pressure, and the blood flow is entirely related to the mother’s blood pressure.
In some severe cases, the mother may go into hypovolemic shock, i.e. she may lose 35 percent of her body’s blood or fluid. In such cases, the mother faces the risk of multiple organ failure, and this can put the life of her baby in grave danger.
Some conditions that can lead to hypovolemic shock are:
- Retained placenta
- Lacerations that can lead to blood loss
- Uterine rupture – Refers to the rupture of the myometrial wall
- Placental abruption – As a result of premature separation of the placenta from the uterus
- Placental previa – A condition in which the placenta is implanted near or on top of the cervix
Apart from the hypovolemic shock, another common cause of severe birth injuries is septic shock. It can also result in death of the baby, and sadly is among the leading causes of maternal death.
Some common causes of sepsis are:
- Post-operative endometriosis
- Gram positive and gram negative bacteria, including Escherichia coli
- Emergency cesarean section
- Premature rupture of membranes
- Retained medical products, tools, or surgical equipment
Some other types of shock include anaphylactic shock, cardiogenic shock, and neurogenic shock.
In case perfusion or oxygenation of the baby is seriously compromised, the baby can experience tachycardia or bradycardia, which refers to the variations in heart rate through irregular heartbeat, acceleration and deceleration. It is also the first sign of fetal distress. Maternal shock can also cause direct or indirect trauma to the uterus, which can trigger premature labor.
As we said earlier, it’s not difficult to identify the signs of maternal shock. If the doctor fails to diagnose maternal shock in time, before it causes further complications, the chances of birth injuries increase significantly. Medical malpractice leading to severe trauma can cause complications that can be life threatening to both the mother and the child. Timely diagnosis can prevent harm to the baby and the mother.
If your doctor failed to make a timely diagnosis, and it caused injury to you or your baby, you should discuss your case with a qualified Chicago birth injury lawyer.