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What Mothers Need To Know About Injuries Caused By Epidural And Anesthesia Errors

On Behalf of | Feb 18, 2016 | Medical Malpractice

During childbirth, many women opt for drugs to ease their painful contractions, and anesthesiologists are the doctors to administer the different types of anesthesia medications. Unfortunately, even highly-trained anesthesiologists can make a mistake during the childbirth process and injure the mother, the baby, or both.

Mistakes can be made when an anesthesiologist gives an epidural to a woman during a vaginal birth, and errors can also occur when a spinal anesthesia is used during a C-section. Whether a local anesthesia or a regional anesthesia is used during childbirth, anesthesiologists may be negligent in their actions.

Anesthesia mistakes usually occur during one of these steps:

  • Medication preparation. An anesthesiologist may accidentally use the wrong type of medication, the wrong type of needle, or the wrong dose of anesthesia, all of which can harm patients. This is why anesthesiologists need to be very careful when preparing and calculating correct medications for each patient.
  • Medication administration. An anesthesiologist may miss the correct spot when inserting the epidural needle into the spine. When an epidural is given, the needle needs to penetrate the spinal column without puncturing the spinal sac. If the anesthesiologist misses the space between the L3 and L4 vertebrae, serious problems can occur.

Effects of Anesthesia Errors During Childbirth

When an anesthesiologist is negligent in administering an anesthetic to a woman in labor, life-altering complications can occur for both the mother and the baby.

Some serious injuries and adverse effects for the mother include:

  • Seizures
  • Respiratory arrest and breathing difficulties
  • Nerve damage
  • Paralysis
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Wrongful death

When there are anesthesia problems for an expectant mother, a baby can suffer decreased blood flow, oxygen deprivation, and much more, resulting in the following complications for the baby:

  • Fetal distress
  • Respiratory problems
  • Brain injury
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Death

Whether an anesthesiologist gave you too much anesthesia, the wrong medication, or didn’t insert the epidural correctly, you may have a medical malpractice claim. If you believe your anesthesiologist was negligent in any way during the childbirth process, please Contact Us online or call our office for advice. We offer free initial consultations.