After a vaginal delivery or C-section, some mothers experience postpartum hemorrhaging. When more than 500 cc of blood loss occurs, it is considered a postpartum hemorrhage. Many maternal deaths during deliveries occur because of postpartum hemorrhaging. A mother that gestates a fetus beyond 20 weeks has a risk of developing postpartum hemorrhaging. Sometimes doctors do not adequately account for this risk, or fail to notice the signs. The result can be injuries or death to the mother. If giving birth caused you to suffer postpartum hemorrhaging or bleeding and you were harmed or lost a loved one because of it, you the experienced Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to help.Postpartum Hemorrhaging
Around 1 in 100 to 5 in 100 women suffer postpartum hemorrhaging. Postpartum hemorrhaging is more common with C-sections. It can happen after a placenta is delivered, but it can also occur later. After a baby is delivered, the uterus usually contracts and expels the placenta, and the contractions place pressure on bleeding vessels where the placenta attached. When a uterus doesn’t contract with enough strength, the blood vessels may gush blood, causing postpartum hemorrhaging. Sometimes postpartum hemorrhaging is caused by a tear in a uterine blood vessel, a cervical tear, blood clotting disorders, a hematoma, placenta problems, a pregnancy with multiples, or an overly distended uterus.
Symptoms of postpartum hemorrhaging include decreased blood pressure, increased heart rate, decrease in red blood cell count, and swelling and pain in the vagina and nearby where bleeding is caused by a hematoma. Tests can involve measuring red blood cell count, clotting issues in the blood, pulse, and blood pressure.
A doctor should locate and stop the cause of bleeding as soon as possible. The appropriate response to postpartum hemorrhaging could include uterine massage, removing pieces of the placenta, exam of the uterus and vagina, or a Foley catheter that can place pressure on the uterine bleeding. Sometimes it becomes necessary to conduct a laparotomy, which is surgery to open the abdomen to find the source of bleeding. There are also situations in which it may be necessary to perform a hysterectomy.Liability
To establish liability as a patient whose postpartum hemorrhage was not properly treated or caused by a health care provider’s mistakes, you will need to prove: (1) you were owed a professional standard of care, (2) breach of the professional standard of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. A knowledgeable birth injury lawyer can help you assess whether the facts of your case can meet these elements, and also help you locate a qualified expert to determine whether you have a claim. Not all mistakes constitute malpractice, but some would arguably count as a breach of the standard of care. Where, for example, a woman’s uterus doesn’t tighten after delivery, and the nurse or doctors may need to make sure it’s massaged to stimulate a contraction. Where that doesn’t work, the doctors should intravenously administer Pitocin, Oxytocin, or Misoprostol to halt the blood loss. When the bleeding continues, a mother suffering this problem may need to be given IV fluids. Sometimes the mother’s blood report shows a clotting disorder, and in that case, it may be necessary to detect and treat infection or sepsis to avoid oxygen deprivation and organ damage. Where drug administration and uterine massage don’t stop the bleeding, it may be necessary to conduct a surgery for purposes of uterine artery ligation, ovarian artery ligation, or hysterectomy. If health care providers fail to take any of these steps, that could be evidence of a breach of care. If that breach led to your or your loved one’s injuries and damages, you can hold negligent health care providers liable.Retain a Skilled Birth Injury Attorney in Syracuse
Postpartum hemorrhaging may be caused by negligent doctors or inadequately treated by doctors. It is critical for a doctor to promptly locate and treat the area that is bleeding. When diagnosis or treatment are delayed, the result may be organ failure, hypoxia, shock, brain damage, or even maternal death. If you were harmed due to postpartum hemorrhaging in Syracuse and suspect medical malpractice, you can discuss your circumstances with a seasoned trial lawyer. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we represent patients and their families in birth injury claims in Syracuse, Rochester, and throughout Upstate New York, including in Canandaigua, Binghamton, Cooperstown, Auburn, Lyons, Herkimer, Elmira, Wampsville, Ithaca, Utica, Lowville, Oswego, Oneida, and Watertown. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us through our online form.