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6 Ways Doctors and Nurses Can Prevent Traumatic Births

New mom holds her newborn baby girlGiving birth is a miraculous process, but it’s fraught with risk. When things don’t go as planned, the mother and her baby may suffer lifelong injuries or death. Consider that 3% of babies born in the US have birth defects, many of which result from traumatic injury in the delivery room. Some birth injuries are caused by unforeseeable circumstances, but others are avoidable. Here are six ways doctors and nurses can help prevent traumatic births.

Heed the Mother’s Concerns and Complaints

When a woman’s healthcare providers ignore her complaints of pain or distress, they could be missing a vital clue that something is wrong. Common issues that can arise from this negligence include fetal distress, failure to progress, malposition, and excessive bleeding. Some doctors even go so far as to yell at or intimidate their patients, causing psychological damage.

Watch for Signs of Fetal Distress

In addition to addressing the mother’s concerns, monitoring the fetus’s heart rate can help doctors spot a pinched umbilical cord or similar issue. Since many complications during labor and delivery are invisible, close fetal monitoring is one of the most effective ways to prevent birth injuries.

Respond to Urgent Situations Quickly

In today’s healthcare system, doctors and support staff tend to be overworked. Being spread too thin makes it difficult to give expectant mothers the attentive service they need when an emergency arises. A slow response could mean the difference between life and death for a woman and her baby.

Don’t Discharge Mothers Too Soon

Many hospitals discharge new mothers too early after giving birth simply to vacate the room for the next patient. Unfortunately, many complications arise once the mother and baby go home. Common postpartum conditions include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • High blood pressure
  • Anesthesia complications
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Sepsis
  • Stroke

Don’t Perform Procedures without the Mother’s Consent

Labor sometimes takes days, but not every doctor is patient enough to let the woman’s body handle the process naturally, even if she wants to. This sometimes leads to administering drugs, performing procedures, or using birth assistance tools without the mother’s consent. Intervening when not necessary or desired by the patient is a common example of medical malpractice and could do far more harm than good to the mother and her child.

Adhere to Current Best Practices

Hospitals often have rules regarding what interventions are allowed during labor and delivery and how to perform them. Healthcare providers should always follow the best practices for pre and postnatal care to ensure patient health and safety.

If you have experienced a traumatic birth at the hands of a negligent doctor, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Learn more by contacting Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC. We have over 70 years of experience as a medical malpractice attorney in New Jersey, so we’re confident we can get you the money you deserve. Call us at 862-263-0770 or contact us online to schedule your free, one-hour consultation. A Spanish translator is available upon request.

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