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Can your doctor have prevented birth canal complications?

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Birth canal issues can occur for any number of issues. Among others, those include abnormal presentation, too large of a baby, pelvic abnormalities and uterine fibroids.

Regardless of why they occur, birth canal issues can cause prolonged labor or hinder labor from progressing. In either situation, the baby risks getting stuck in the birth canal for too long, which could be harmful to the baby. Healthline explains the complications that occur because of birth canal issues as well as what doctors and nurses should do to diagnose and treat labor complications.

Complications of birth canal issues

If you recently experienced prolonged labor because of birth canal issues, you may know first-hand about the very real complications that birth canal issues can cause. Those include but are not limited to the following:

  • Bone fractures
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Laryngeal nerve injury

Each of these injuries can cause your baby to live with significant pain and, in the worst-case scenarios, to live with lifelong disabilities. This may cause you to wonder, is there something your birthing team could have done to prevent birth canal complications?

Diagnosing and treating birth canal issues

During the entire labor and delivery process, nurses and doctors should monitor a baby’s progress through the birth canal. Among other measures, labor and delivery teams should monitor fetal heart rate and contractions and remain vigilant for signs of distress. Close monitoring can help medical teams detect early signs of distress and take immediate and appropriate intervention measures. Such interventions include medications to speed up labor and a cesarean section to deliver the baby. If birth canal issues are the result of the baby being in an abnormal position, preventing prolonged labor may be as simple as repositioning the mother to reposition the baby.

In many cases, doctors can detect risks for birth canal issues via ultrasounds. For instance, if your ultrasound revealed that your baby was in an abnormal position, that your baby’s head was too large or that your baby was growing too quickly, your doctor and delivery team may have had time to come up with an alternate birthing plan.

In most cases, birth canal issues are treatable and do not have to lead to birth complications. If your medical team failed to diagnose and treat your birth canal issue, you may have a medical malpractice case.