There are several medications available for mothers to take during labor. While these drugs can help mask the pain of labor, they can have many negative effects if they are negligently administered.
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Examples of Medications Available for Laboring Mothers
- Epidurals: an injection into the spine which numbs the patient’s lower body, but they remain awake.
- Spinal block: spinal injection with more strength than that of an epidural.
- Combined: a combination of an epidural injection with other forms of pain reliever.
- Systemic and local analgesia: injections used for pain relief in certain situations.
- Opiate-based drugs: drugs such as Stadol, Morphine, Fentanyl, Demerol, and Nubain which may be injected via a push-button injection system that the patient can control themselves.
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How Medication Injuries Occur
The medical professionals whom we trust to prescribe birth medication can and do commit errors in some cases which can lead to injuring patients. Two birth medication errors that can be made are prescription errors and dosage errors. A prescription error usually occurs when a doctor writes a prescription for the wrong drug.
This can happen when a prescribing physician is unaware of a patient’s intolerance for a specific drug. The prescribed drug may conflict with another drug that the patient had been taking before the birth began or the patient may be allergic or otherwise biologically intolerant of the birth medication. Doctors have a duty to ask patients this information before administering potentially harmful birth medication.
Dosage errors can also occur when the prescriber or administer recommends or mistakenly gives a patient an inappropriate dosage of a medication which can harm them. For example, an administering nurse may be unable to read a physician’s handwriting on a prescription pad and fail to confirm the correct dosage amount before administering an incorrect dosage. An inappropriate dose of medication can cause harm to mother and baby if the dosage is too far above the recommended appropriate dosage for any individual patient.
When these situations happen, the baby, the mother, or both may sustain injuries. A medication error at birth can also cause the death of the mother and baby. One of the leading causes of infant mortality is maternal complications of pregnancy. Depending on the circumstances of your birth medication injury, you may be able to recover compensation from the doctor or medical professional who committed the medication error and the facility in which the error was committed.
Some of the birth defects which can result from medication errors include:
- Disfigured limbs
- Cleft palate: split roof of the mouth
- Cleft lip: split upper lip area
- Heart defects
- Spina bifida: deformity of the spinal cord
- Craniosynostosis: fusion of skull plates too early causing abnormal brain and skull growth
- Neural tube abnormalities
Women who take certain types of medications may experience an increased risk of some of these types of birth defects. If you or your child suffered an injury due to medications given before or during your baby’s birth, you should call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group now for a case evaluation: (800) 222-9529.
Your Birth Medication Injury May Be Actionable
Every birth is accompanied by risks of injury. Regardless of whether the drugs are being administered for pain relief or to modify the duration of labor, it is vital that doctors and nurses overseeing the delivery take several steps to ensure the safety of the mother and child.
For example, one critical step that medical staff must take before administering a dosage of any drug is to carefully review the mother’s medical profile. If attending medical professionals are unaware of a patient’s medical history, drug allergies, and preexisting diseases, this can result in permanent injury or death. Doctors must also monitor the fetus once a dose of the drugs has been given. Also, a failure to monitor the vital signs of the mother and child for warning signs of an adverse reaction to birthing medication could also lead to injury or death.
To prove that a physician is liable for a birth medication error, you are required to present evidence that demonstrates:
- The doctor was legally obligated to take measures to prevent medication errors.
- The doctor failed to take these measures.
- The doctor’s error caused an injury at birth.
- You or your baby was harmed by the medication error.
When a birth medication injury occurs, the costs of treatment can add up quickly. Many patients who are injured by birth medication errors can become financially overwhelmed. The legal team at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group does not wish to see this happen to you. We offer our services to you at no cost, unless we recover money for you. If your claim qualifies, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- Wrongful death
- Prenatal care
- Neonatal expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Treatment of injuries sustained during childbirth, if any
- Treatment of birth defects
- Intentional misconduct, if any
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Call Us for Help With Your Birth Medication Injury
Our attorneys will help you determine an accurate estimate of your losses after a birth medication injury. However, the time you have to pursue compensation may be limited. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529.