Epidural Injury Attorneys in Seattle
Did You or Your Child Suffer a Birth Injury? We Want to Help
The birth of your child is one of the most joyous occasions in your life, but it is also a day that can be filled with stress and pain. In millions of births each year, an epidural is administered to the expectant mother. This is the most common form of pain management during childbirth, and it is used for over half of all deliveries in the United States.
But as common as this practice is, there are certain risks associated with an epidural that are not always clearly and completely explained to expectant parents. If you or your child suffered from complications caused by an epidural injection, contact the Seattle birth injury lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., (888) 228-3860. We can review your medical records and determine if you are owed compensation for your damages.
How an Epidural Works
An epidural is intravenous anesthesia that is administered with a long needle in the mother’s back near the spinal cord. With the needle in place, a catheter is inserted to disperse the medication that will block pain to the lower portion of the body. The most common medications include bupivacaine, lidocaine, and chloroprocaine. As with any medication, there is the potential for an allergic reaction or injury as the needle is being inserted near the spine.
Risks of Epidurals
Proper procedures and skilled medical professionals do reduce the risk of injury when administering medication, but the risks of epidurals are never completely eliminated. Risks to the mother include:
- Seizure or dizziness
- Infection at the injection site
- Spinal injuries or damage
- Breathing issues
- Nerve damage
- Long-term back pain
- Low blood pressure
- Difficult childbirth requiring vacuum extraction or forceps delivery
Risks to the infant include:
- Brain injury
- Poor muscle tone
- Lack of oxygen, which can cause long-term health issues including cerebral palsy and other cognitive disorders
When Is It Medical Malpractice?
In general terms, medical malpractice is any action a healthcare provider performs that another, reasonable healthcare provider would not perform. (On the flipside, if a medical provider fails to do something another, reasonable medical provider would do, it is also probably malpractice.) It is a breach of the healthcare provider’s standard of care to the patient.
Because the epidural injection site is so near the spinal cord, this procedure should only be administered by an experienced anesthesiologist or nurse-anesthetist. Epidural injuries can arise from any of the following medical mistakes:
- Administering medication to a mother who is allergic to the drug
- Injecting improperly or in the wrong location
- Failure to monitor the mother and the infant for signs of distress
- Administering medication to a mother who is on blood thinners
Proving an Epidural Injury in Court
Proving medical negligence is an arduous task and requires the knowledge of birth injury specialists. Our legal team at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., has over two decades of experience in these types of cases, and will be prepared to demonstrate there was a breach in the standard of care that caused the injury to mother or child.
Each malpractice case is unique, and the outcome will depend on the severity of the injuries, the expenses involved in rehabilitation, and the loss of income for the victim and family, as well as the emotional trauma and distress. Working with medical experts, our legal team can determine the cost of current and future care to make sure your family will be compensated for your entire loss.
At a time when you should be doing nothing but celebrating the birth of your child, it can be nearly impossible to think about the legal and financial ramifications of an epidural injury. But a single call to the Seattle birth injury attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., at (888) 228-3860 is all that you need to concern yourself with at this difficult time. Let our team of professionals focus on these matters while you focus on your family.