Washington, D.C Birth Injury Attorneys Handling Medication Error Cases
Representing families in pitocin and antibiotic-related birth injury claims
When you are pregnant, you must be very careful about which antibiotics you take and how they are administered. Certain illnesses and conditions may be passed along to the baby if left untreated – but some medications can cause more harm than good. You have the right to expect your doctor to know which drugs are safe and which can do serious damage.
At Paulson & Nace, PLLC, we protect the rights of families whose futures have been put at risk because of a doctor’s failure to administer antibiotics and other delivery drugs in a safe and timely manner. Since our inception, our firm has helped clients throughout Washington, D.C. obtain the compensation they need to help their families after an act of medical negligence. Our attorneys understand how serious one mistake can be, and how it can affect your loved ones in the long run. When your family has been harmed, our family wants to help.
I have found the firm so far to be very compassionate and understanding, something that seems to be rare in companies these days, let alone in attorneys. Chris Nace offered to help us when no one else would. That goes a long way in my book.
When are antibiotics required during childbirth?
Some infections are more prevalent than others and require careful attention and monitoring. At Paulson & Nace, we provide comprehensive counsel to families whose doctors failed to diagnose and treat conditions that call for a course of antibiotics. Without timely treatment, harm may come to the mother or child.
Medical conditions that pose a risk include:
- Group B Strep. Streptococcus agalactiae, or GBS, is a very common bacteria found in the reproductive tract found in about 25% of expectant mothers. Because the infection can be passed to an unborn child, doctors are supposed to test for it during the 35th and 37th weeks of pregnancy. When GBS is diagnosed quickly and correctly, a doctor can administer antibiotics during labor to avoid passing the illness along to the child. If GBS is not diagnosed, your child is at risk for developing sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia, cerebral palsy, brain damage or hearing and/or vision loss.
- Sexually transmitted diseases. Some STDs can be cured with antibiotics; others cannot. If the mother is infected with the Trichomoniasis parasite or gonorrhea, for example, antibiotics can help the mother avoid passing the infection along to her child. Without antibiotics, the child may be born preterm or have a low birth weight. Some STDs have also been linked to miscarriages, so it is important to seek a test if you believe you might be infected.
- Chorioamnionitis. This condition can cause the dangerous blood infection, bacteremia, which, left untreated, may necessitate the immediate delivery of your child. Babies born with chorioamnionitis may experience other complications such as meningitis or suffer brain damage. Some cases may result in a condition called villitis, which may be fatal if left untreated.
- Chicken pox. Though chicken pox is unpleasant, it can be treated with antibiotics. If left undiagnosed, however, your child could develop a rare condition called fetal varicella syndrome (FVS). FVS causes catastrophic abnormalities, including shortened limbs, scarring and developmental delays.
Paulson & Nace takes on intricate birth injury cases like these to help families when their loved ones have been harmed because of negligent labor and delivery and/or negligent postpartum care. If you or your baby has suffered because of an untreated infection, we want to hear your story.
What medications do they give you during childbirth?
Certain drugs are traditionally used to help ease some of the stress (and pain) of delivery for the expecting mother. Mothers in labor may be prescribed:
- Pitocin. This drug is used to induce labor, and mimics the effects of oxytocin, a hormone your body naturally produces.
- Opioids. These pain relievers are administered early in labor. They act on your entire nervous system to dull labor pains while allowing you to still have some feeling.
- Epidural block. This is the primary form of pain relief mothers entering labor choose because they remain awake and can participate during childbirth without much
- Spinal block. Much like an epidural, this procedure uses an anesthetic to lessen or block pain from the waist down. A spinal block offers instant relief, but it wears off much faster than an epidural does.
If these drugs are administered incorrectly, they can have serious side effects. Opioids can affect the baby’s heart rate and breathing, and epidural and spinal blocks can lead to spinal injuries or drops in blood pressure.
What is Pitocen, and how does it work?
In cases where the labor has stalled, or a mother-to-be has gone past her expected due date, a doctor may use a drug called Pitocin to induce labor. The drug speeds up contractions, which helps force the baby to be born.
What are the negative effects of Pitocin?
Pitocin causes the most trouble during childbirth because it can cause your baby’s heart rate to drop. This makes it mandatory that the mother and baby be closely monitored by the medical team. Other complications this drug can cause include:
- Contractions may become too strong or sped up because too much of the drug has been administered, which can lead to crushing the baby’s skull or the baby experiencing oxygen deprivation and subsequent brain damage.
- Lower Apgar scores at the five-minute mark.
- Fast, slow, or uneven heart rate in both mother and baby.
- Rupture of the uterus and excessive bleeding for an extended period after childbirth.
- Seizures caused by extremely high blood pressure caused by the drug.
At Paulson & Nace, we don’t just view ourselves as a group of medical malpractice attorneys. We are parents like you who understand the fear and anger you feel after placing your trust in a doctor to ensure your childbirth experience is safe only to carelessly cause you harm in the process. Let us help you make sure your voice is heard by pursuing a claim against those responsible for your pain.
Dedicated attorneys fighting on behalf of families who suffered a birth injury
The tough attorneys at Paulson & Nace, PLLC, have spent over 40 years protecting new parents and newborns in Washington, D.C., and West Virginia. If your family has been injured due to a negligent pain medication or antibiotic error during childbirth, our team is prepared to fight for your legal right to seek compensation for the pain and hardship you have endured. Schedule your free case evaluation in our Washington, D.C. or Charleston, WV office by calling 202-463-1999 or by reaching out to us through our contact page.