The birth of a child is expected to be a joyous occasion. Unfortunately, there are occasions in which something goes wrong during the labor and birth process that results in injury to the mother, the child, or both. There are instances in which prolonged labor, also known as a failure to progress, results in injury to a mother or baby. These are situation where you would want to get in touch with a birth injury lawyer immediately. With that in mind, understanding the risks associated with prolonged labor is imperative.
Overview of Prolonged Labor
Before taking a closer look at the risks associated with prolonged labor, understanding what is meant by failure to progress is essential. Prolonged labor has the potential to occur during both the first stage of labor as well as during active phase of giving birth.
Failure to progress during the first stage of labor usually does not result in complications. Having said that, prolonged labor during the first stage of labor can be physically exhausting and emotionally draining for a mother. Physical exhaustion and feeling emotionally drained can have a notable impact on the second or active phase of child birth, however.
Physicians have established a time frame within which labor is deemed to be prolonged or failing to progress. A labor is prolonged for a first time mother at approximately the 20 hour mark. This milestone is at about 14 hours for a woman who previously have birth.
Potential Health Risks and Injuries Associated with Prolonged Labor
Prolonged labor presents the potential for health risks to both the mother and the baby. Each of these categories of health risks and injuries will be discussed in turn.
Turning the potential risks to a mother associated with a prolonged labor, an emergency delivery may be necessary. This typically takes the form of an emergency C-section.
An emergency C-section does address the matter of a labor that fails to progress and mitigates the prospect for other negative issues to arise as a result of a prolonged labor, as with any emergency surgery, there are associated risks. These include infection, damage to the uterus, and other complications.
A prolonged labor can result in health issues and injury to a baby was well. Chief among these risks are the consequences associated with lox oxygen levels for an unborn baby. The reality is that in some instances of failure to progress during the second stage of labor, the oxygen supply to the baby is impaired.
A lack of an appropriate level of oxygen to the baby during the labor process can have significant consequences for a child. These include more minor, acute complications that do resolve over time. However, oxygen deficiencies for a baby during child birth can cause brain damage. This can result in a wide array of injuries that include lifelong disabilities.
Labor may fail to progress while the baby is in the birth canal. This happens if a baby is particularly large or a mother’s birth canal is especially narrow. If this proves to be the reason why labor and delivery are prolonged, medical instruments of equipment may be utilized to further the birth of a baby.
The instruments that are used in that type of situation and forceps or a vacuum device. These instruments are designed to pull the baby through the birth canal.
Forceps and a vacuum device to present risks to a baby. There are instances in which these devices cause damage to a baby’s head, skull, and even the brain. Depending on the nature of the injury arising from the use of forceps or a vacuum device, a baby may end up with serious or even lifelong and debilitating injuries.
Risks and Injuries Associated with the Prospect of Prolonged Labor are Largely Preventable
An alarming aspect associated with the risks and injuries associated with prolonged labor is that they are largely avoidable. The stark reality is that injuries associated with a failure to progress occur as the result of some type of medical negligence or medical malpractice.
Prolonged Labor, Medical Negligence, and Your Legal Rights
If your baby suffered injuries as the result of a prolonged labor, or if you are a mother who suffered injuries as the the result of a failure to progress during labor and delivery, you need to understand your legal rights and those of your child. The first step in that process is to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced, tenacious medical malpractice attorney. As a general practice, a medical malpractice lawyer does not charge a fee for an initial consultation with a prospective client.