Jan 20, 2019

Did a doctor fail to act when your baby was in distress?

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Having a baby is often one of the most exciting and challenging experiences in a woman’s life. For approximately nine months, you carry your child in the womb while doing your best to eat healthy, get plenty of rest, attend prenatal checkups, and prepare for labor and delivery at an Indiana hospital or birthing center. You’re likely to have some discomfort during pregnancy, which often occurs due to your baby’s increasing size, your own weight gain or other minor issues.  

If you’ve given birth before, you may be able to notice signs of trouble during the process. Perhaps you have some knowledge regarding the average heart rate of an infant as it appears on a monitor during labor. If your child’s numbers look too high or too low, you might ask a nurse or doctor about it. In such situations, your doctor is ultimately responsible for recognizing signs of fetal or maternal distress and determining a best course of action to keep you and your baby as safe as possible. 

Issues that signal urgent situations 

Your medical team is an integral and essential component of your child’s birth. Having experienced, skilled staff members on hand can help you overcome typical birthing challenges and also alert you to signs that you may need an emergency C-section. The following list includes issues that most obstetrical doctors and nurses would consider emergencies: 

  • If the umbilical cord presents itself before the head of your baby, it is definitely an urgent situation that warrants a possible C-section. 
  • If you begin bleeding too heavily, your doctor would likely consider this maternal distress.
  • Placenta abruption is a dangerous condition. This occurs when the placenta tears away from the uterine wall.     
  • If you have had a prior C-section and your uterus tears along the scar from that surgery during a VBAC delivery, you and your child would be greatly at risk.  

Many women have successful vaginal deliveries after having had a C-section for a previous birth. This is something you and your doctor would typically discuss ahead of time and something the hospital you’ve chosen may have policies about. Regardless of what type of labor and delivery process you have, you can reasonably expect that your care providers will act according to the highest level of accepted safety standards.  

If you or your child suffer injury 

Sadly, there have been many incidents in Indiana and other states where mothers or their infants have suffered serious injuries when doctors are negligent in their duties to provide a safe birthing environment. Many situations result in fatalities, and moms and babies who survive their injuries often suffer permanent disabilities. The law allows you to seek financial recovery for your losses when medical negligence results in injury to you or your child.

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