Every mother-to-be hopes has high hopes for a perfectly healthy newborn, starting with a short labor and swift delivery. Unfortunately, mothers who experience prolonged labor often have newborns suffering from birth injuries. While not all cases of prolonged labor which result in birth injuries are due to medical malpractice, it is possible the medical team mishandled your labor and delivery, and any medical problems experienced by mother and baby could have been prevented through the exercise of proper care. A baby who might have otherwise been born healthy might instead be brain damaged, develop cerebral palsy, or even be stillborn, if the mother’s obstetrician fails to take appropriate emergency action to deliver the baby safely.
At The Lancione Law Firm, we recognize how birth injuries are devastating. Not only do families face severe emotional distress, but birth injuries can create long-lasting, immense financial hardships for the parents of the newborn. Our Cleveland delayed labor attorneys are zealous advocates for the legal rights of those affected by medical malpractice.
We are here to seek justice for you. If your prolonged labor caused harm to your baby, contact us online or call (440) 220-4439 to make an appointment for a free consultation.
What Is Prolonged Labor?
Prolonged labor, also called failure to progress, involves a woman whose delivery is delayed for an unreasonable amount of time. A delivery is considered “delayed” when the mother’s cervix has thinned and opened appropriately to allow the baby to progress through the birth canal, but the mother still has not successfully delivered her baby after about 20 hours of active labor. Prolonged labor times vary based on whether the mother is giving birth for the first time or if she has previously given birth. First-time mothers experience delayed delivery after about 20 hours of regular contractions, or after 16 hours of labor if a mother is carrying more than one baby. For mothers who have previously given birth, labor lasting longer than 14 hours is considered delayed.
Some of the reasons for a prolonged labor 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 in abnormally, such as in a feet-first position (breech birth).
What Are the Consequences of a Delayed Delivery?
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. Birth injuries cause a host of problems which have a lifelong impact, from intellectual disabilities to paralysis, even stillbirth or maternal death.
Medical malpractice may cause a delayed delivery if the following applies:
- Delayed decision to perform a C-section: Obstetricians should know how to act if a delivery is unusually delayed and know when to make the call for an emergency 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, or an abnormally large head, is a frequent cause of delayed delivery, as well as overall large fetal size.
- Improper administration of labor induction medications: Pitocin or Cytotec are medications medical providers often 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.
We Represent Delayed Delivery Cases
While not every birth injury is caused by negligence, an improperly handled labor and delivery significantly increases the risk of complications. Obstetricians are trained to follow correct procedures to avoid complications in the instance of delayed delivery, and if they fail to follow protocol, lives can be ruined.
The Lancione Law Firm represents children, mothers, and families negatively impacted by birth injuries. Our Cleveland birth injury lawyers represent clients in delayed delivery cases including but not limited to the following:
- Brain injuries during birth
- Cerebral palsy
- Post-maturity syndrome
- Vacuum or forceps injuries
- Postpartum negligence
- Erb’s palsy
- Paralysis of infant
- Maternal death
- Dropping of newborns
Take the first step toward justice and recover compensation for your pain and suffering. Our Cleveland delayed delivery attorneys have an 80-year legacy of fighting for families impacted by birth injuries, including delayed delivery complications. We will help you garner financial compensation from your medical malpractice case for any associated birth injury or loss you have suffered.
We are here to help. If you believe your baby is the victim of medical negligence after delayed delivery complications, contact us online or call (440) 220-4439 for a free consultation.