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Anesthesia Errors During Labor and Delivery

Baltimore Lawyers Helping People Pursue Damages for Birth Injuries

Although some women prefer to deliver their children naturally, without the assistance of any medication, many women receive some form of anesthesia during labor and delivery. While anesthesia is safe and effective when used properly, careless anesthesia errors during labor and delivery can cause severe birth injuries. If your child suffered a birth injury due to the improper administration of anesthesia, you have the right to pursue claims against the responsible parties, and it is advisable to confer with an attorney. The knowledgeable Baltimore birth injury attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are proficient at navigating the complexities of birth injury cases, and if you hire us, we can gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of a favorable outcome.

Common Anesthesia Errors During Labor and Delivery

The two kinds of anesthesia most commonly administered during birth are epidurals, which are generally used for vaginal deliveries, and spinal blocks or spinal anesthesia, which are used in C-sections. Both epidurals and spinal blocks are intended to prevent the mother from experiencing pain during labor and delivery. If they are not used appropriately, though, or the mother is not properly monitored following their administration, it can lead to serious harm.

For example, anesthesia can cause a sudden drop in the mother's blood pressure, which is not only dangerous for the mother but can also cause fetal distress, and if the child is not delivered immediately, it can lead to a lack of oxygen and other serious issues. Anesthesia can also cause abnormal contractions, which can also impact the amount of oxygen the fetus receives and can cause uterine rupture. These conditions and other complications caused by anesthesia errors can lead to a variety of injuries, including cerebral palsy, respiratory issues, nerve damage, stroke, brain injuries, and death.

Recovering Damages for Harm Caused by Anesthesia Errors During Labor and Delivery

Doctors are expected to provide expectant mothers with competent care, and when they do not, and it causes preventable birth injuries, they should be held accountable. Generally, people seeking compensation in lawsuits arising out of birth injuries will allege negligence claims against the defendants, which may include the physicians attending the birth and the hospital.

In Maryland, a party seeking compensation for medical negligence must first demonstrate that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. In birth injury cases, the duty owed is to provide treatment that complies with the standard of care, which is the care that a competent person working in the same practice area would offer when presented with a similar set of facts. Usually, a plaintiff will need to retain a medical expert to explain to the judge or jury the standard of care that applies and what it requires of the defendant. The plaintiff then must prove that the defendant breached the standard in some way, which usually requires expert testimony as well.

Merely proving the defendant breached the standard of care is not sufficient to establish liability, however. Instead, the plaintiff must also link the defendant's breach to the injury sustained. In other words, the plaintiff must show that the breach proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer harm, which means that he or she must offer evidence demonstrating that the injury would not have arisen but for the defendant's breach. Causation must usually be demonstrated via expert testimony.

Meet with a Trusted Baltimore Attorney

Anesthesia is meant to alleviate pain, but when it is not used correctly during the birthing process, it can cause irreparable harm. If your infant suffered an injury at birth due to anesthesia errors during labor and delivery, you might be owed damages, and it is smart to speak to an attorney. The trusted Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are adept at helping parties injured by negligent physicians recover compensation, and if you hire us, we will work diligently to help you pursue any damages you may be owed. Our office is located in Baltimore, and we regularly represent parties throughout the city in lawsuits arising out of birth injuries. You can reach us via our form online or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.