Birth injuries do not only refer to harm inflicted upon an infant during labor and delivery; they can also describe injuries to the mother. Maternal injuries during the birth of a child can be devastating both physically and emotionally. Many women suffer long-term effects from these traumas. If you were harmed by a birth injury, contact the Philadelphia birth injury lawyers at Youman & Caputo for a free case evaluation.
Preeclampsia is a high blood pressure disorder that can occur during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth. If hypertension caused by pregnancy goes undiagnosed and untreated, the mother can suffer eclampsia, which can result in seizures and coma. In severe cases, untreated preeclampsia can cause cognitive problems in the mother, known as encephalopathy, and result in the death of the mother or child.
Many women experience vaginal tears, or the stretching or tearing of the perineum (the skin between the vagina and anus) when a baby is born. Serious tears may extend to the vulva and muscles located in the anus, and may require medical intervention to repair. A mother may also suffer episiotomy complications, or issues with an incision that was made to enlarge the vaginal opening to facilitate the delivery of an infant.
While vaginal bleeding for a mother is normal for about two to six weeks after giving birth, abnormally heavy bleeding can be dangerous. This is known as postpartum hemorrhage, which may begin within 24 hours of the baby’s birth (primary or immediate hemorrhage) or between 24 hours to six weeks later (secondary or delayed hemorrhage). Major bleeding conditions can be life-threatening.
Ruptured or Prolapsed Uterus
A ruptured uterus is a serious pregnancy complication that can occur when the wall of the uterus tears. An emergency C-section with uterine repair is often recommended for mothers who suffer from ruptured uteruses. In the future, these women will need C-section deliveries. A prolapsed uterus and other prolapsed pelvic organs occur when these organs slip out of their normal positions and bulge into the vagina.
Birth injuries can refer to complications that occur during C-section deliveries, such as surgical errors and anesthesia mistakes. Common surgical errors include nerve damage, uncontrollable bleeding, infections and scar tissue buildup. These issues can occur due to injuries from a scalpel or poor techniques used by a surgeon. Anesthesia mistakes can refer to too much or too little anesthesia administered to the mother during a C-section, potentially resulting in brain damage or allergic reactions.
Spinal Epidural Injuries
A spinal epidural is a procedure used to numb part of the body during labor and delivery using an injection administered in or around the spine. Complications and issues relating to an epidural are possible, including blood clots, infections, nerve damage and the formation of a spinal epidural abscess (bacterial infection). Although rare, long-term and permanent neurological deficits are possible from epidural injections.
Mental Health Disorders
Traumatic birthing experiences can result in harm to a mother’s mental or psychological state. Witnessing complications during childbirth can have a significant impact on the mother emotionally, potentially leading to conditions such as postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic anxiety, trouble bonding with the new baby or breakdowns in relationships with others.
If you suffered any type of injury during childbirth and delivery as a mother, consult with the attorneys at Youman & Caputo regarding a potential birth injury lawsuit in Philadelphia. You and your family may be able to recover financial compensation.