A birth injury is a medical complication that inflicts infants at their most vulnerable time. It’s a horrible way to begin your child’s existence. So how did this happen? In some instances, it’s due to malpractice of a medical professional, such as a doctor, a hospital staff person, or in some cases, a nurse. The following are some of the most common ways that nurses cause birth injuries.
Can a Nurse Give the Wrong Drug or Too Much of the Right Drug to the Mother?
A nurse many be responsible for administering medications to the mother and to the baby. Sometimes if the nurse administers too much of any one drug to the mother, it may result in birth injuries. One such drug is Oxytocin: if the nurse administers too much of this drug, the baby can be negatively affected.
In addition, Cytotec, also known as Pitocin, has been linked to adverse affects if given improperly. This drug has not been approved by the FDA, but is still used somewhat frequently, as it ripens the cervix and helps to promote labor. Nurses may still administer this drug –sometimes against the manufacturer’s warnings and proper instructions- causing dangerous contractions and birth injuries.
Is the Nurse Responsible for a Malfunction of a Medicinal Machine?
It is the medical provider’s responsibility to understand and know how to successfully operate any medical machine in which they use to administer medication. Whether it’s a hand-operated machine or if the machine administers medication in replacement of the nurse’s responsibilities, the nurse is still responsible for making sure that it administers the correct dosage to the correct patient at the correct time. The machine may malfunction, but if the malfunction causes a birth injury, the hospital is generally liable for damages.
Is the Nurse Responsible for Epidural-Related Birth Injuries?
Although an epidural is one of the most forms of pain relief during labor and delivery, it comes with risks which may injury both mom and baby. Sometimes babies affected by epidurals are 2 to 6 times more likely to have high fevers and other birth-related injuries.
Though generally mild, these birth injuries can be disconcerting at the least, and expensive. However, a nurses are typically not responsible for this type of injury unless they are the ones that administered the epidural, such as a nurse-anesthetist.
It’s also important to note that most mothers must sign a waiver beforehand that states that they understand the risks involved in getting an epidural. If you weren’t told of the risks and didn’t sign a waiver, the person who administered the epidural may be responsible if injuries occur.