Medical Malpractice Can Lead to Cause Preventable Birth-Related Injuries to Mothers
When it comes to medical malpractice and birth injuries, most people think of the tragic and life-altering consequences that can arise when newborns suffer preventable harm. While these are certainly common scenarios in birth injury cases, so are injuries suffered by mothers. In fact, statistics show that thousands of mothers in the U.S. suffer severe or fatal injuries during birth, many of which are preventable and caused by the failures of attending medical professionals. According to the article, hospitals know how to protect mothers, they just aren’t doing it.
A recent investigative report from USA Today profiles the alarming rates of birth injuries to mothers, showing how substandard care can result in serious, life-altering, and sometimes fatal harm. This substandard care can consist of a range of errors and failures that lead to deaths, strokes and other horribly debilitating injuries—to both mother and child.
Common examples of medical negligence that can lead to mothers suffering preventable harm during the birthing process include:
- Failing to track a mother’s blood pressure during pregnancy and delivery
- Failing to adequately treat mothers with high blood pressure and administer necessary medication to prevent stokes
- Failures to identify and treat infections and other potentially dangerous medical conditions (i.e. gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, etc.)
- Failing to track blood loss in mothers
- Delays in performing, or failure to perform, C-sections
These and other medical errors can have disastrous effects on mothers, including infections, strokes, and dangerous blood loss that can lead to organ failure. Some mothers also suffer life-altering ramifications as a result of medical negligence, including becoming permanently sterile or suffering from partial paralysis and disability. In the most severe cases, these errors can result in death.
As the USA Today article notes, more than half of the approximately 50,000 serious birth injuries suffered by U.S. mothers annually (including nearly 1,000 that result in death), could have been reduced in severity or prevented entirely with acceptable medical care. That, reporters state, makes America one of the most dangerous developed countries worldwide when it comes to giving birth.
What Rights Do Mothers Have After Suffering Birth-related Injuries?
While injuries suffered by mothers during birth can make for immensely tragic experiences, the silver lining is that there are laws in place which provide them with the right to seek justice and compensation for their losses. In terms of medical malpractice, doctors and health care professionals owe a “duty of care” to their patients – a legal duty that requires them to treat those patients, including pregnant mothers, with care that meets the accepted standards of their profession.
Failing to meet this professional obligation, which often occurs as a result of negligence and preventable errors, is a breach of duty that provides the grounds for legal action, particularly when mothers suffer injuries as a result. By asserting their rights and pursuing a civil birth injury lawsuit against the responsible parties, mothers and their families can not only secure the justice they deserve by holding negligent providers accountable, but also financial compensation needed to cover their economic and non-economic damages, including their pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, lost income, and more.
Cullan & Cullan: Fighting for Birth Injury Victims
At Cullan & Cullan, our Kansas City birth injury lawyers have dedicated their legal practice to representing victims and families whose lives have been changed by substandard medical care and preventable birth injuries. If you or someone you love believes a medical professional failed to meet their duty of care, and a mother or newborn suffered harm as a result, our firm is here to help.
Comprised of a diverse and dedicated team of attorneys, Cullan & Cullan stands apart from other law firms in that our Kansas City injury lawyers are also medical doctors. Their advanced medical training and insight, combined with their legal education and experience, make them uniquely prepared to address the challenging aspects of birth injury cases, and to effectively protect the rights of victims and families throughout every stage of the legal journey. To discuss your case with a member of our team, contact us for a FREE consultation.