Early induction of labor is medically necessary in certain situations. Examples can include a pregnancy that is more than two weeks post term, an infection within the uterus or if the mother has a high blood pressure disorder. Without an appropriate justification, early induction is not recommended as the risks can outweigh the benefits. These risks can include a diminished oxygen supply to the infant and serious bleeding problems for the mother.
In some cases, the use of early induction can lead to a birth injury.
Early induction results in injury to mother and child: A recent case provides an example. The case involves the early induction of labor for a woman with a fetus at a gestational age of 37 weeks, 4 days. The woman sought medical care, voicing concern about reduced fetal movement and the physician offering treatment chose to induce labor.
The woman returned two weeks after the delivery and stated she was experiencing excessive vaginal bleeding. The physician performed a sonogram-guided suction dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure to remove retained products of conception thought to be responsible for the patient’s continued bleeding. Shortly after this procedure, the woman was taken to the emergency department for “life threatening vaginal bleeding.” A second D&C procedure was completed.
The mother has filed suit against the physician who induced labor and conducted the first D&C procedure. The suit states the physician negligently induced labor and failed to properly complete the first D&C procedure. These failures led to respiratory difficulties for the infant and the mother’s infertility.
Lessons for victims with similar injuries: A successful birth injury case requires clear testimony and evidence. In this case, the jury stated the woman did not provide consistent testimony. This, paired with allegations the woman did not provide evidence to support the claim of medical negligence, led the jury to rule in favor of the physician.
Those in a similar situation can learn three valuable lessons from this woman’s case. First, it is important to provide consistent and accurate testimony. Second, have medical records to support your claim and third, review the legal strategy with an attorney. An attorney experienced in birth injury claims can help tailor a legal strategy to meet the particulars of your case — better ensuring a favorable outcome.