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Prolonged Labor

Birth Injury Attorneys Representing Families in in Baltimore and Beyond

The birth of a child places great stress on both the mother and the child. While the length of time for which a woman is in labor varies, if labor is prolonged for too long, doctors should intervene to minimize the risk of potential harm. If your child suffered an injury that you believe was a result of a doctor’s error or neglect during a period of prolonged labor, you should consult the Baltimore birth injury lawyers at Arfaa Law Group. We will thoroughly investigate the details of your child’s injury and assist you in figuring out your next steps.

Prolonged Labor

Prolonged labor refers to the incapability of a woman to progress with childbirth upon going into labor. For the majority of first-time mothers, labor lasts for approximately 12 to 18 hours. Labor for subsequent pregnancies is typically six to eight hours. When a woman has been in labor for more than 18 hours, it is considered a prolonged labor. This can lead to a number of complications and can seriously jeopardize the health of both the mother and the child. For example, prolonged labor can continually squeeze the baby’s head and brain into the mother’s pelvis, leading to physical harm. This risk increases with larger infants. Other injuries that a mother and a baby may suffer as a result of prolonged labor include:

  • Intrauterine infection;
  • Compression of the umbilical cord;
  • Premature detachment of the placenta from the uterine wall;
  • Post partum hemorrhaging;
  • Fetal distress;
  • Intracranial hemorrhaging; or
  • Injuries related to lack of oxygen (i.e., hypoxia, asphyxia, or ischemia).
Medical Malpractice Arising from Prolonged Labor

Your obstetrician has a duty and a legal obligation to treat you with a certain level of care, which includes tracking the length of time for which you are in labor. Complications may take place, but when they are not appropriately addressed and managed, or when the obstetrician or delivery team fails to provide the necessary care and treatment, the consequences can be devastating for the baby and the family. In other words, when medical professionals see signs and symptoms of prolonged labor, they must act quickly. For example, a doctor may need to perform an emergency C-section or implement the use of forceps or vacuum devices to assist with the birth.

If your child or you has suffered harm due to a doctor’s negligence during a period of prolonged labor, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a medical malpractice claim. To establish medical malpractice, the plaintiff and their attorney must prove the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence. The doctor owed a duty of care to the patient, the doctor breached the duty of care owed to the patient during a period of prolonged labor, and the doctor’s breach was a direct and proximate cause of the child or mother’s injury.

Qualified Expert Requirement in Medical Malpractice Cases

Code of Maryland 3-2-04(b) highlights the necessity for qualified experts in Maryland medical malpractice cases. In order to file a claim for medical malpractice in civil court, the plaintiff is first required to file a certificate from a qualified expert with the Director of the Maryland Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office. In the certificate, the qualified expert must discuss the appropriate standard of care for the case, how the defendant’s conduct departed from this standard of care, and how the departure was a direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury. This requirement is intended to parse out frivolous lawsuits from legitimate lawsuits being filed in Maryland courts.

Contact a Trusted Baltimore Attorney Today

The birth of a child is usually a happy day in a parent’s life, but it can quickly become stressful if something goes wrong. If your child has suffered harm during a period of prolonged labor due to a doctor’s negligence, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our skilled medical malpractice lawyers can help you determine whether you have a viable malpractice claim, file the necessary paperwork, and build the strongest possible case on your behalf. We represent children and families in Baltimore and throughout the state of Maryland. For more information, call us today at 410-889-1850 or contact us online.