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Potential labor and delivery complications with an epidural

When you’re preparing for the birth of your baby, pain relief may be one of your concerns. You probably already know that labor is usually painful, whether this is your first baby or if you have other children. At the law office of Donovan & O'Connor, LLP, we are prepared to help our Massachusetts clients find justice and closure after the difficult and often heartbreaking results of a mistake during labor and delivery. These include the potential complications that may result from anesthesia administration.

The epidural is one of the most common types of anesthesia used during labor, states the American Pregnancy Association. This is a regional anesthesia that allows you to be awake during the childbirth process while greatly reducing or eliminating pain. In most cases, the procedure turns out fine. However, due to a number of possible factors ranging from adverse drug reactions to negligent monitoring, an epidural mistake may cause long-term consequences.

Some of the risks you may face during an epidural include:

  • Soreness of the injection site or nausea after delivery
  • A severe headache caused by spinal fluid leaking
  • A drop in blood pressure
  • Permanent damage to nerves
  • The baby experiencing heart rate fluctuations or respiratory depression

An epidural may also affect the progress of labor or pushing ability to the point that the use of forceps or a C-section may be needed. The mother or baby’s health may suffer if the doctor or nurses fail to properly monitor vital signs, or if the anesthesiologist made a mistake in dosage. For more information on mistakes during labor and delivery, please visit our page.

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