Advancements in medical science have made it possible for pregnant mothers to have a pain free labor.
An epidural is an injection of anesthesia into the lower spine, reducing the pain and discomfort of labor and childbirth. Used in both vaginal deliveries as well as C-sections, it is estimated that more than 50% of women in the U.S. choose an epidural for pain management.
How Epidurals Work
Unlike general anesthesia, where the whole body is affected, an epidural blocks nerve impulses at the point of injection – in the lower spine where it is administered. An epidural can reduce labor pains and is particularly useful in long or difficult deliveries, enabling the mother to rest and relax between contractions. When correctly administered, the risks to the mother and child are extremely low. However, any error on the part of the anesthesiologist administering the epidural can be hazardous to both the mother and the child and subject to a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Administering the Epidural
An anesthesiologist is trained to adhere to the four “P’s” – preparation, position, projection, and puncture. Following these procedures is essential to ensure that neither the mother or the unborn baby is harmed. An error, neglect, or a mistake can result in serious injury. If the mother is given an incorrect dosage, is not properly monitored, if she is positioned incorrectly, or if the needle is inserted incorrectly, the patient can suffer from:
- nerve damage
- drop in blood pressure
- cardiac arrest
Complications From Epidural Errors
If a mother experiences any of these events during childbirth, the unborn child may be in serious danger. These medical emergencies during childbirth can cut off the baby’s oxygen supply. Lack of oxygen during childbirth can cause severe injuries to the unborn child. If the child is deprived of oxygen inside the mother’s womb, brain damage can take place leading to a number of complications that result in birth injuries such as:
- cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy
- brain injury
- heart problems
- respiratory distress
Chicago Birth Injury Lawyer
It is extremely unfortunate when a happy moment such as childbirth becomes a disastrous situation, especially in cases of errors caused by incorrect administration of epidurals. There can be no compensation for the loss of loved ones. At the same time, caring for a child with a birth injury can be financially stressful for life. If you or your child are a victim of medical malpractice or medical negligence, speak to a Chicago birth injury attorney from Willens Law Offices. Call us for a free consultation at (312) 957-4166.