Communication and action key during labor and delivery

A woman in labor needs monitoring and assistance from those around her. Advances in medicine have evolved to make birth a much safer event for mother and baby; however, things may still go wrong.

When the situation in the labor and delivery room goes awry, the baby may suffer an injury. The consequences of injury range from temporary bruising to long-term deficiency to death. The most common denominator in birth injuries is miscommunication between the medical team.

Failure to recognize distress

Labor puts an immense amount of pressure on mother and baby. If the mother starts to experience issues, such as irregular heartbeat or a spike in blood pressure, these could spell trouble for the baby. When the medical team misses a sign of distress, the baby may face real danger.

Unnecessary use of birth tools

Babies may get stuck in the birth canal, and if the doctor fails to remove the baby in a timely manner, oxygen deprivation may occur. Too quickly, medical teams choose to use tools to pull the baby free rather than using other less obtrusive methods. These tools, such as vacuum extractor and forceps, attach to the baby's head, placing pressure on it. The use of these increases the chance of a head injury. The dislocation of the shoulder and fracture of the clavicle frequently occur with forcible extraction.

Waiting too long to perform a C-section

If labor is taking too long without progressing to the next stage, there is a chance the mother will need a C-section. The mother may not want a C-section or the doctors may believe labor will eventually give way to vaginal birth, so they dismiss the option of performing surgery. Unfortunately, failing to extricate the baby sooner rather than later may result in a traumatic birth injury.

The magic and wonder of birth can turn tragic if the medical team is not following warnings. Doctors and nurses cause more birth injuries by missing signs of distress, jumping the gun on birth aids and waiting too long before performing a C-section. These missteps may prove devastating to a baby and mother.

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