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5 epidural errors that can harm women in labor

Labor pain is different for every woman. However, a popular common ground for women in labor is seeking pain relief methods. Epidural is a procedure that injects a local anesthetic to intercept pain signals from the spine to the brain.

When delivered correctly, it is generally safe and effective. On the other hand, in rare negligent cases, it can cause permanent nerve damage or severe spinal injuries. When tragedy happens, the cherished joy of childbirth can quickly turn into a lifetime of pain.

Epidural gone wrong

The epidural method, designed to manage expecting mothers’ pain, largely depends on the proper handling of the medical professional. But the following are some ways they can do it wrong.

  • Placement error: Needle injection in the wrong area
  • Medication error: Unidentified allergies to medication
  • Dosage error: Ill-measure dose administration that is less or more than the necessary quantity
  • Timing error: Ill-timed dose administration instead of the recommended timing, which is often when the cervix has opened at least four centimeters to ensure that labor is indeed in progress
  • Monitoring error: Unsupervised mother and child post-epidural, which can result in infections or complications

If an anesthesiologist or any birthing staff fails to closely observe their patient after the procedure, tragic epidural injuries – paralysis, cystic lesion or cardiac arrest – may develop. In extreme circumstances, death is also possible.

Proving what went wrong

Determining the cause of an epidural mistake during labor involves complex factors. Unfortunately, the mother who just gave birth may have to endure pain longer for damages due to their medical care provider’s reckless actions or decisions. However, comfort lies in knowing that their legal counsel will work to rectify things and provide them with all the assistance they need during these difficult times, starting with holding all potential parties liable.