Prolonged labor refers to a childbirth session that goes longer than medical professionals expect. When this type of labor occurs, a number of situations can arise that create the potential for brain damage or birth injury for the newborn. It is vitally important that doctors recognize a prolonged labor as it is happening and respond accordingly. Failure to do so can cause infant brain damage when it might have been otherwise avoidable. If this has happened to you, call an experienced Chicago medical malpractice lawyer to talk about your case.
Brain damage to an infant during childbirth is typically caused by one of two things: lack of oxygen or damage to the head that affects the brain. Lack of oxygen, or asphyxia, can occur in a number of ways, all of which become a bigger concern if childbirth and labor go on for an extended period of time. For example, asphyxia can occur if the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the child's neck or head. This can be avoided by experienced doctors during childbirth, but as labor becomes prolonged, there are more opportunities for something to be missed.
Physical damage to the head and brain of an infant can occur due to prolonged labor as the doctors and mother work to get the baby born. Ongoing contractions and efforts to push the infant out can result in head trauma as it comes into repeated contact with the mother's pelvis. Tools used to assist in birth can be used properly to safely ensure childbirth. When used improperly, however, then injury can occur to the mother or the infant, including head injuries that can result in brain damage for the baby.
One of the most important and subtle concerns during prolonged labor is reduced glucose levels in the infant. As childbirth goes on, glucose levels in the infant drop, which can become a concern during prolonged labor. Glucose levels in an infant should always be checked after birth, but it is even more important after a long and difficult labor. If the glucose levels are too low, then medical treatment can bring those levels back up. If this does not happen right away, however, brain damage may occur that would have been otherwise avoidable.
If you or a loved one has had a prolonged labor that resulted in infant brain damage, then talk to us immediately at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC. The childbirth injuries may have been avoidable and caused by the negligence of the people you trusted most. Call us today at (312) 644-0444 to discuss the details of your case and talk about your options.