Managing High-Risk Births
Improved technology and extensive medical research have provided doctors with the tools they need to identify situations that carry a higher rate of risk for babies. We know which situations are potentially dangerous, and when extra care should be taken. In most cases, doctors who do not have experience managing these high-risk situations should inform their patients and refer them to obstetricians who are familiar with the duties and treatments involved. If a doctor accepts a patient in these circumstances, he or she is expected to know and understand how to properly manage the pregnancy.
Women who are 35 or older are considered to be of advanced maternal age, which carries a series of heightened risks over what younger mothers experience. Managing obstetricians should take care to diagnose genetic problems, to watch for problems in blood pressure, and to take care of the baby and the mother.
12.5% of the babies born in the United States are premature. Prematurity can lead to extensive physical and mental problems, including cerebral palsy, developmental delays and death. Obstetricians have an opportunity to prevent prematurity in some cases, giving the baby adequate time to grow.
Whether naturally occurring or because of fertility treatments, there are unique risks involved when having multiple children at the same time. Careful doctors must take care to manage the pregnancy and to monitor for complications like placental abruption, fetal distress, gestational diabetes and a prolapsed umbilical cord, to name a few.
Babies who weigh over 8 lbs., 13 oz. may be at risk for injuries, including particularly brachial plexus injuries caused by the baby becoming stuck in the birth canal. Doctors must be able to identify possible macrosomia, and handle the complicated delivery.
Women may choose to have a vaginal birth after cesarean, but there are specific criteria that they must fulfill before a doctor allows them to undergo a course of labor. The risks to the baby include uterine rupture, cerebral palsy and stillbirth.
The rupture of membranes (water breaking) is a key event that defines the duty of doctors and nurses up through labor. Particularly if the water breaks while the baby is premature, there are a series of actions the doctor must take to ensure the health and safety of the baby.
For more information about negligent high-risk birth management, or if you have questions about whether your obstetrician, midwife or nurses handled your pregnancy correctly, contact our medical malpractice lawyers at (855) 712-7818 or online for a free consultation.