How Can Medication Errors Cause Birth Injuries?

Pregnant women must be particularly careful about what they put in their bodies, especially when it comes to medications. From food and drinks to painkillers and vitamins, each and every substance that enters the mother’s system could affect the developing baby. Unfortunately, if a doctor makes a mistake prescribing or administering a medication, there is little the mother may do to protect herself and her baby from the resulting damage. Unless the mother is a doctor herself, she is likely unaware of what medications are dangerous or what dosages are correct. During labor, it is especially important for the mother to receive safe medications that do not cause the unborn baby any distress or discomfort.

Expectant mothers and fathers-to-be typically rely on the expertise of their doctor or nurse during this stressful, trying time, which can end up costing them greatly. If a medical professional makes a mistake in prescribing a hazardous drug or administering the wrong dosage of a medication, it could seriously harm the mother and unborn infant.

Types of Medication Errors

The types of medication errors that cause birth injuries can occur during labor and deliver or earlier on during the mother’s pregnancy. Some of the most common medication errors that lead to birth injuries include:

A doctor prescribes the mother a dangerous drug during her pregnancy. Throughout a woman’s pregnancy, she may require medication for relief from pregnancy symptoms like nausea, headaches, backaches, or more serious complications. She might also become sick and require antibiotics and other medications. Medication can be a great tool to heal and mend the body, but not all medications are safe for pregnant women. If a doctor prescribes a drug that is dangerous during pregnancy, it could seriously harm the baby and the mother. Some dangerous drugs might cause birth defects, fetal distress, premature birth, or even loss of pregnancy. These types of mistakes might be due to doctor negligence, or, in some cases, the drug manufacturer might be to blame.

A doctor prescribes the mother with a dangerous drug during labor. Childbirth can be an extremely stressful, long, and painful experience. For most women, modern medicine helps speed the labor along and makes contractions more bearable. However, if a doctor prescribes the wrong drug during labor, it could have a negative effect. For example, a doctor might prescribe a drug meant to speed up labor when the mother’s labor needed to be slowed down, which could put the baby at risk. Or, the doctor might prescribe too much or too little of a pain medication, causing the mother to have an adverse reaction. An incorrect prescription could also send the baby into fetal distress, which may lead to several different birth defects.

A pharmacist fills a prescription with the wrong medication. Even if the doctor prescribes a safe medication at the appropriate dosage, the pharmacist could fill the prescription incorrectly, leaving the mother-to-be with a dangerous drug that could cause developmental problems, fetal distress, or premature labor.

A nurse or other medical staff member administers the wrong dosage. After the doctor prescribes medication in a hospital setting, a nurse is usually left to administer it. If the nurse fails to administer the correct medication, or if he or she gives the patient the wrong amount, it could cause a seriously adverse reaction, which could also affect the unborn baby. If this happens before the mother is in labor, it could cause preterm labor or fetal distress. If the medication error occurs while the mother is in labor, the birth could become far more complicated.

If your child suffered a birth injury, make sure you do everything you can to seek justice and compensation. Contact Tom Rhodes Law Firm to discuss your options with our New Mexico birth injury attorneys.