Delayed Delivery and Birth Injuries
Don’t wait to take legal action. Contact our Cleveland birth injury law firm
Many birth injuries occur due to delays in delivering a baby. In some circumstances, even waiting a few minutes to deliver a baby can result in a life-threatening injury to a newborn infant or put the mother’s health at risk. That’s why delayed deliveries are considered a fetal risk factor.
If your baby was injured due to medical negligence involving prolonged labor, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your medical bills and other injury-related expenses. However, actually getting the money you rightfully deserve can often be much harder than many people realize. That’s why we want to help.
At The Lancione Law Firm, our dedicated legal team only handles birth injury and medical negligence cases nationwide. Ohio birth injury lawyer John A. Lancione has a national reputation for this skillful handling of such complicated legal cases. That’s why other attorneys frequently refer such cases to our law firm.
Since our law firm was founded, we have recovered more than $350 million and counting for our clients, including one of Ohio’s largest malpractice verdicts. We also realize your case is about more than just money. It’s about holding medical professionals accountable for their actions. It’s about justice.
What is a delayed delivery?
As the phrase suggests, a delayed delivery can involve any time lapses in a baby’s delivery which results in a birth injury. In general, any delivery is considered a prolonged labor if a woman’s labor lasts longer than 20 hours for women giving birth for the first time or 14 hours for women who have previously given birth.
When a woman delivers a baby, she normally experiences uterine contractors which cause the woman’s cervix to dilate ( become more open) in order to allow the baby to emerge from the mother’s womb. As the baby’s birth approaches, cervix contractions become more rapid, stronger and regular. The cervix also gradually dilates wider, especially during the final, active labor phase.
A woman’s labor is considered delayed or prolonged if her cervix dilation rate is slower than normal. For first-time mothers, the normal cervix dilation rate during labor is 1.2 centimeters per hour. For women who previously had a child, the normal cervix dilation rate during labor is 1.5 centimeters per hour.
If a woman’s labor process stops completely during her baby’s delivery, this situation is known as an arrested labor. There are two different ways to measure whether a woman’s experiencing an arrested labor. Dr. Emmanuel A. Friedman developed a test known as the Friedman Curve, which measures whether a woman’s health is at risk due to a vaginal delivery.
The other test to determine if a pregnant woman’s experiencing an arrested labor was developed by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG). However, many doctors and hospitals still use the Friedman Curve, which some scientific studies have shown is a more effective measure of whether a pregnant woman’s delivery is an arrested or delayed delivery.
What causes delayed deliveries?
Delivery delays and prolonged deliveries occur for many different reasons. Some of the most common causes of a delayed delivery include:
- The baby is very large or has an abnormally large head (macrosomia).
- The mother has a small or abnormally shaped pelvis.
- The mother has diabetes.
- Contractions are very weak during labor.
- The baby is positioned abnormally.
Why is prolonged labor dangerous?
There are many reasons why prolonged labor can threaten the health of the mother or her baby. In the baby’s case, the oxygen supply may be reduced or completely cut off, resulting in a serious or life-threatening injury. Other serious complications can also occur. You can read more below about some of the common injuries often associated with prolonged labor.
Doctors, especially obstetricians, and other medical professionals need to carefully monitor the vital signs (breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) of the mother and the baby during labor. And if they notice anything unusual, they need to act fast. Even waiting a few minutes to perform certain medical procedures can result in a serious birth injury. This is why prolonged labor is considered so dangerous.
What are common injuries?
There are many injuries pregnant women and newborn babies can sustain due to a prolonged or delayed delivery. Some of the most common injuries sustained by newborn infants include:
- Infections sustained during delivery, including sepsis.
- Brain injuries due to oxygen deprivation or other medical complications
- Cerebral palsy and other muscle disorders.
- Injuries caused by misuse of forceps and extractors in an attempt to deliver the baby.
Many other injuries can occur due to a prolonged delivery. Vaginal wall tears and postpartum infections are common. Whatever type of birth injury you’re dealing with involving your child or yourself, make sure you fully understand your rights. Make sure you talk to Cleveland birth injury lawyer John A. Lancione.
What constitutes negligence in delayed delivery cases?
When labor and delivery won’t progress, and the patient’s obstetrician fails to decide what emergency steps need to be taken to avoid fetal distress, it is often due to negligence. Examples of negligence and malpractice due to delayed deliveries include:
- Delayed decision to perform a C-section – Obstetricians should know how to act if a delivery is unusually delayed and when to make the call for delivery via C-section. Nearly one-third of all babies born via C-section delivery are due to delayed delivery, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
- Failure to monitor fetal distress – The medical team has many tools on hand to check the status of the fetus’ health during labor.
- Improper use of vacuum extractor or forceps – These are typically used for babies who do not easily come out of the mother’s birth canal.
- Miscalculation of baby’s size before birth – Macrosomia (large size) is a frequent cause of delayed delivery or difficult labor .
- Improper administration of labor induction medications – Pitocin or Cytotec are medications medical providers give to women in labor to speed up the delivery process.
- Failure to enlist help of obstetric specialists – Mothers with gestational diabetes or other high-risk pregnancies may require an obstetric specialist.
Hold medical professionals accountable for their actions. Contact us
You might think you don’t even need a lawyer if an obstetrician or another medical professional clearly caused your child’s birth injury due to a delayed delivery. But there’s often a great deal of debate about what constitutes a delayed or prolonged delivery. And in many cases, doctors deny doing anything wrong. Instead, they often hire a team of attorneys to defend their actions and deny your claim.
Attorney Lancione knows how to respond effectively in such situations. He knows how to thoroughly investigate birth injuries. He knows what evidence to look for and what questions to ask. That’s why we have such a strong track record of success in legal cases involving a prolonged labor or delayed delivery.
Many medical professionals, insurance companies and their attorneys agree to negotiate a settlement offer in good faith once they see we’re serious about your case. If not, we will not hesitate to file a birth injury lawsuit or take other legal action on your behalf.
Get the law firm that puts your family’s best interests first. Contact us and schedule a free consultation with Ohio birth injury attorney John A. Lancione. You can reach us online or call (440) 331-6100 or (877) 515-4369 to schedule an appointment. And if you ever have a question about your case, you can John directly on his personal cellphone at any time.