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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

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Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

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now and in the future.

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Maternal Death: Anesthesia Related Negligence: Negligence of Anesthesiologist During Labor and Delivery

When you learn that your spouse or other family member died as a result of anesthesiology errors during labor and delivery, it may be hard to accept the news.

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It feels as though things will never be the same, for you and for your family. While nothing can undo this traumatic event, you should protect your rights as a surviving family member. Filing a lawsuit may help the surviving child grow up in this challenging situation. Our Ohio lawyers know that after a maternal death, there are so many things to think and worry about.

The Dangers of Anesthesia for Pregnant Women

Unfortunately, far too many anesthesia errors result in not just injuries to the baby but also injuries or even fatal risks to the mother. A mistake made by an anesthesiologist during the childbirth process can be catastrophic, and if you believe this has happened to your loved one, you need the advice of our experienced anesthesia negligence lawyers. An epidural is popular with doctors assisting women through childbirth. However, a mother should always know the benefits and risks.

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If a doctor does not provide informed consent, the mother may not realize the potential dangers of this type of anesthesia.

Some of the health risks that come with anesthesia and epidurals include decreased blood flow to the fetus, fetal oxygen deprivation, fetal heart deceleration and postpartum hemorrhage.

All women who are receiving anesthesia during delivery should have the baby’s heart rate monitored. Additional monitoring is also recommended based on the situation. Extremely low blood pressure can cause problems for the mother as well since it could lead to compression of the woman’s blood vessels since she is usually on her back after the epidural is administered.

High-Risk Factors for Injuries Linked to Anesthesia Use

Respiratory arrest could occur in situations in which women stop breathing when anesthesia is used. With heavy doses of anesthesia, the mother may lose the interest to continue with the labor. This could lead to an increased risk of birth injuries for the baby if the use of vacuum extractors and forceps are needed. Prolonged labor also carries its own set of risks such as brain bleeds and oxygen deprivation. Some of the most common complications associated with anesthesia use include:

  • Motor block
  • Accidental spinal anesthesia
  • IV cannulation
  • Infection at the site of injection
  • Trauma to the blood vessels closest to the spinal column

A baby can also become severely compromised due to a blood pressure crisis. Doctor's and anesthesiologists should be present to evaluate these risks and to provide immediate activity in the event of an emergency situation.

Failing to inform the mother about the benefits and risks as well alternatives for anesthesia could be classified as negligence. If the anesthesiologist in your spouse's case failed to warn her of the risks and she suffered fatal injuries, you could have a claim of medical malpractice.