Each year, thousands of women suffer life-changing injuries or die during childbirth because hospitals and healthcare providers fail to take basic safety measures to prevent postpartum hemorrhage. Postpartum hemorrhage is a very serious medical condition when the woman suffers extensive bleeding following the birth of her baby. The hemorrhage can occur immediately after delivery, or in the hours or days following. Whenever it occurs, it is an emergency that must be recognized and treated by the healthcare team. If they fail to diagnose the postpartum hemorrhage, the woman may suffer permanent, devastating injuries, or she may die.
It is widely known that doctors and other medical professionals can make serious errors due to negligence. What is less known is how those errors permanently impact the victims of malpractice. These victims are forced to deal with the emotional and physical consequences of the injuries that doctors cause. Those effects commonly impact the rest of their lives.
Despite the life-changing outcomes, some malpractice victims don’t seek compensation. Many patients simply are not sure if medical malpractice occurred in their specific situation. People mistakenly believe that errors can just happen in a hospital, so no one is responsible for that. Other victims wait too long to consult a lawyer, and the statute of limitations expires. In Arizona, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice is two years from when the person knew or should have known of the injuries to put him/her on notice to investigate what caused the injuries. This deadline can often be confusing, as doctors may tell the patient that his/her outcome is expected and normal, when, in fact, it is not.
Plan Ahead to Protect Yourself and Your Baby from Birth Injuries
The months of pregnancy before your child’s birth bring excitement and anticipation. As a new parent, you look forward to welcoming a new baby into your life, and you want to do everything you can to prepare for his or her arrival. You research child care, baby-proof your home, and take extra precaution when you exercise and eat. You do these things to ensure the optimal health of your child.
However, even if you do everything you can to prepare for the birth and maintain your baby’s health, there are always risks involved with the birthing process. And while you hope for the best outcome for a happy, healthy baby, you also need to prepare in case of a medical emergency or negligence on the part of your doctor.
Statistically, nearly 7 of every 1,000 births nationwide results in injury to the child. Unfortunately, such was the case for Ben Harman, who was born 13 years ago at Kent Hospital in England. His particular birth injury was caused by the doctors and nurses failing to check his blood sugar levels at birth, despite the clear warning signs that required that check. What’s worse? The hospital did not explain the child’s condition to his parents until four years later.
Having a baby should be the happiest day of a parent’s life. Unfortunately, inattentive doctors and failed hospital systems can cause that happy time to turn into a catastrophic event. Since our childhood, we have been taught not to question those in power and to always show proper respect. The practice of medicine, however, has continued to devolve to the point that many health care providers and hospital systems have begun putting profits over patient safety. They schedule too many patients in a day and too many births in a given time block. When this happens, individual patient care takes a back seat, and important findings are missed. For example, certain medical conditions, like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, should be diagnosed by an OBGYN during the woman’s pregnancy. If the doctor fails to properly monitor the condition, it can result in a horrible outcome for the baby, including cerebral palsy (caused by lack of oxygen to the brain). Similarly, fetal distress during delivery should be immediately recognized and treated to prevent anoxic brain injury. If it is not properly diagnosed, the baby will suffer serious, permanent injury.