Examples of labor and delivery errors include:
- Improper use of forceps, vacuum or other delivery room tools and equipment. Failure to carefully use these tools can cause injury to the baby during the delivery.
- Failure to determine that the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck.
- Failure to protect the baby from Erb’s palsy, which can occur when the doctor pushes or pulls on the baby’s head during a shoulder dystocia delivery.
- Failure to conduct ongoing fetal heart monitoring. This failure can cause staff to miss signs of fetal distress, losing the opportunity to intervene in order to prevent birth injuries.
- Failure to monitor the baby for insufficient oxygen to the baby’s brain.
- Improper anesthesia administration: If improperly administered, epidurals can interfere with the second stage of labor. This can cause low blood pressure in the mother, increasing risk to mother and baby.
- Other types of errors by doctors can result in delayed delivery and this can lead to a wide variety of problems. One potential injury is cerebral palsy, a brain injury that affects balance and muscle coordination as the baby grows up.
- Failure to diagnose other dangerous conditions, including uterine rupture (where there is a tear in the uterus) or placental abruption (where the placenta separates from the uterine wall prior to the birth of the baby).