When it comes to childbirth, pain management is crucial. It is the role of the anesthesiologist to manage a mother’s pain. The anesthesiologist plays a vital role in making sure that the dosage is correct and finding that balance between pain relief and safety for the mother and the child. Unfortunately, any slight error in any aspect of this procedure can have a devastating impact on both mother and child.
What is an epidural?
An epidural is a regional anesthesia that dulls or relieves pain by blocking the nerve impulses to the lower spine. When these nerve impulses are blocked, sensation in the lower half of the body decreases, and childbirth becomes easier to bear. The problem is, an epidural requires absolute precision in the administration of the cocktail of drugs, and any error in calculation can produce some very serious side-effects in the mother, including:
- Spinal membrane injuries
- Low blood pressure
- Back pain
- Nerve damage
- Difficulty breathing
It is not only the mother who risks suffering serious injuries. The child can also be adversely affected in the following ways:
- Oxygen deprivation, which can lead to cerebral palsy and other health issues
- Brain injury
- Difficulty breastfeeding
- Low Apgar scores
According to AmericanPregnancy.org, epidural anesthesia is the most popular method of pain relief during labor. Women request an epidural by name more than any other method of pain relief. More than 50% of women giving birth at hospitals use epidural anesthesia.
Medical errors associated with epidurals
Because the area where an epidural is administered is so close to the spinal cord, any mistakes in the procedure can cause serious and lasting consequences. Birth injuries caused by medical mistakes related to epidural anesthesia include:
- Allergic reaction to the medication
- Injection of the medicine in the wrong area
- Over medication
- Failure to monitor for maternal or fetal distress
- Medication administered too close to the time of birth
Epidural anesthesia is used by millions of women each year to help ease the pain of childbirth. Because of the serious risks involved, it is very important that women educate themselves – that they know all the facts before making a decision on pain management during childbirth.
If you or your baby has suffered a birth injury caused by a medical mistake related to the administration of an epidural, you are encouraged to contact an experienced and qualified attorney from Bailey & Greer, PLLC. We will give you a free consultation, answer all your questions, and do our very best to ease the fears and anxieties associated with this type of injury. We will get you on the road to recovery and lay out your path to compensation.
Are you dealing with the effects of a childbirth-related injury? Has your baby suffered a birth injury caused by medical negligence? If so, you are encouraged to speak to an experienced Memphis birth injury attorney at the law offices of Bailey & Greer, PLLC. We will answer your questions and offer legal guidance specific to your case. Please contact us or call us at 901-680-9777 to schedule a consultation at our Memphis or Jackson office to discuss your case today.
As founder of Bailey & Greer, R. Sadler Bailey has battled his fair share of insurance giants and wrongdoers and has achieved numerous multimillion-dollar results for the victims of catastrophic injuries and their families. What’s more, he has been involved in more than 40 appellate court decisions affecting Tennessee personal injury law, including many landmark appearances before the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Read more about R. Sadler Bailey