Prolonged Labor, Arrested Labor, and Birth Injury
Childbirth can be very stressful even when done properly. It becomes even graver in cases of complicated pregnancies. Doctors need to always be vigilant in caring for the expecting mother, especially during labor. That’s because several complications, like prolonged labor and arrested labor, may occur. These need to be dealt with appropriately when they happen since improper calls can lead to birth injuries.
Prolonged labor is the failure to proceed normally to childbirth after going into labor. These cases may vary but usually stretches upward from 20 hours for the first-time mothers. For others that have already previously given birth, this extends upward from 14 hours.
Many factors can contribute to prolonged labor. Some of these causes are the following:
- The size of the baby plays a role. Some become too large to move through the birth canal of the mother properly.
- The mother’s birth canal should be large enough for the baby to exit through. Smaller birth canals can become a problem.
- Abnormal positioning of the baby can also contribute to the risk. Any position that can provide resistance can lead to prolonged labor.
- Weak contractions may fail to push the baby outward.
Prolonged labor can lead to increased stress for both the mother and the unborn child. It can become a problem if not dealt with correctly since it can potentially post multiple risks. Some of the issues that may arise are the following:
- The baby may become deprived of oxygen. That is problematic in extended periods.
- The stress of prolonged labor can lead to problems in the baby’s heart rate.
- The amniotic fluid may become contaminated.
- Infections of the mother’s uterus become much more likely.
A closely-related condition is known as arrested labor. This condition occurs when the process of labor completely stops for the mother. That is a critical problem that may be caused by the following:
- Weak, infrequent, or irregular contractions of the uterus. Uterine contractions must happen at regular intervals. Each contraction must last longer than 30 seconds. If these conditions are not fulfilled, then labor problems may occur.
- The pelvis of the mother plays a role. It must be wide enough to allow the baby to exit properly.
- Similar to prolonged labor, the baby must also be in the proper position for exiting the birth canal. Abnormal positioning can cause the baby to become stuck. If this occurs, then arrested labor becomes much more likely to happen.
- The angling of the baby’s head can also become a problem. If the baby’s head is angled to one side, passage through the birth canal becomes more difficult.
The doctor must properly identify the problems leading to arrested labor. Proper identification and diagnosis of the problem are necessary to do the right methods. Failure to do so can lead to many effects on the baby and the mother.
Some of these effects are shared by prolonged labor. However, if the baby is kept in the mother for too long, then other complications may arise. Some of these include the following:
- Oxygen deprivation, which can lead to other complications
- Fetal distress is also a possibility
- Infections become more likely, and the worst cases may lead to sepsis
- The risk of injuries also increases. Examples of injuries include seizures, palsy, injuries that arise from oxygen deprivation, and many more.
The mother also becomes susceptible to bleeding, hemorrhage, and infections. To reduce the risk of the occurrence of arrested labor, women should always have access to medical care.
Many birth injuries, as mentioned above, become more likely as a result of prolonged and arrested labor. These injuries become even more notable if the healthcare professional mismanages the labor case.
To prevent these injuries from occurring, healthcare professionals must be constantly vigilant with how the case presents. Proper management can minimize the risks to both the mother and the baby.
Do You Believe That You Have Grounds To File For Malpractice Due To Birth Injuries?
Improper methods on the doctor’s part during labor and childbirth may lead to birth injuries. Prolonged and arrested labor increases the chances of this happening. If you need to file for a malpractice claim in Okemos, The Clark Law Office can help. Contact us at +1 (517) 347-6900.