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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.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Maternal Death: Medication Errors During Labor and Delivery

What happens to you and your family if the mother of your child died during the birth or post-delivery process because of a medication error? The law protects surviving family members who may have a claim for wrongful death when a doctor or other provider’s negligence ended with fatal injuries.

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Hospitals and delivery rooms are often the sites of fast-paced action, especially if a medical emergency arises in the midst of a procedure or labor. However, doctors must remain calm and exercise appropriate standards of care to decrease the chances of injury for both parent and child. When malpractice happens, the doctor or the hospital could be held liable. Much like any other cause of maternal death, most medication errors could be prevented, and far too many are fatal.

Kinds of Medical Negligence Concerns Affecting Pregnant Women

There are many different types of medical malpractice that can lead to devastating injuries. But mistakes made surrounding a pregnant woman's care or the labor and delivery process can be catastrophic because there are two lives at stake. When mistakes are made, and a woman suffers critical injuries or death is the result, the doctors responsible may be held liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Some of the most common types of issues involve medication errors.

Elk & Elk

It is critical that any doctor working with a pregnant woman or a woman going through labor and delivery understands that various implications of medicines being taken by that woman as well as which medications may interact with others or cause problems. Medication errors can be deadly. Many different types of drugs are given to women during labor and delivery as well as pregnancy.

While many of these are appropriate when given in adequate doses, and can be beneficial, when incorrect doses are given or when dosing standards are not followed, babies can suffer from birth injuries, and developmental disabilities and the mother may suffer fatal injuries. Some of the most common drugs administered during labor and delivery can cause catastrophic problems for the mother and the child including:

  • Improper dosages of Cytotec as this can lead to birth injuries for the baby as well.
  • Misuse of Pitocin

Internal injuries associated with these kinds of medicines include:

  • Postpartum hemorrhage
  • Prolonged and strong uterine contractions or uterine rupture
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Pelvic hematoma
  • Tachycardia
  • Postpartum hemorrhage

Pitocin should never be used in situations including:

  • Hyperactive or hypertonic uterus
  • Umbilical cord prolapses
  • Fetal distress
  • Unfavorable fetal position or presentation
  • Substantial pelvic disproportion
  • Surgical or uterine scarring
  • Contraindicated vaginal delivery

In all of these situations, a physician acts negligently when they administer a medication that is against recognized guidelines and can endanger the life of mother and child. If the medical team fails to closely monitor the baby and mother or fails to notice the signs of distress and medication toxicity, this is negligence and could lead to a lawsuit. You need to consult with our dedicated maternal death lawyers to learn more about your rights. No one deserves to watch a loved one pass away because of a medication mistake, and your only opportunity to correct this and hold the provider responsible is with a medical malpractice lawsuit.