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Myrtle Beach Obstetrical Malpractice Lawyers
Fighting for the rights of injured mothers and babies in South Carolina
Though labor and delivery is one of the most natural processes in the world, it can quickly turn into a high-risk situation, potentially leading to harm to the mother and baby. It’s the responsibility of the obstetrician to adequately identify potential problems and take actions that promote a healthy birthing process. Obstetrical malpractice occurs when the physician fails to meet this responsibility and injuries result.
The experienced Myrtle Beach obstetrical malpractice attorneys of McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, guide your family through the process of making a malpractice claim for the financial compensation you deserve.
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Fetal heart monitoring malpractice
Obstetrical malpractice occurs in a variety of situations. One of the most common mistakes is a failure to review the fetal heart monitor. These devices provide an efficient method to gauge the health of the fetus during the labor process. While the monitor provides important information about the vital signs of the baby, it is the responsibility of the attending physician to review the results, recognize complications, and take appropriate measures to promote the health of the infant. The following are two signs that should alert the obstetrician of a problem:
- Decelerations. Decelerations occur when the infant’s heart rate temporarily drops. Early deceleration is generally not seen as a problem because it’s common during the birthing process and only lasts temporarily. Variable decelerations stem from temporary compressions of the umbilical cord. While short compressions are common during labor, they become alarming if they happen repeatedly. Late decelerations occur after the peak of a uterine contraction, which is risky for the fetus. When lasting for an extended period of time, these variances are cause for concern and a Cesarean section may be the most suitable course of action. Failure to act in a timely manner may cause a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain and birth injuries.
- Bradycardia. Generally, the healthy heart rate of a premature baby is between 120-160 beats, and between 80-140 beats for a full term baby. Bradycardia occurs when the heart rate slows below the normal range. When it lasts for more than 20 seconds, it is called apnea, which can prove extremely dangerous for the infant.
Fetal heart monitors alert to the possibility of these conditions. Failing to adequately review its data and act accordingly is obstetrical malpractice. Our skilled Myrtle Beach OB malpractice lawyers regularly work with medical experts to review the doctor’s actions and determine whether industry standards were maintained.
The decision to utilize a midwife for childbirth is a very personal one, but these births have become highly controversial with increased rates of injury to infants and their mothers. These incidents often occur during home births when emergency services are not readily available in case of complications, but another concern is the lack of formal education and training by some of these practitioners. Federal law classifies midwives in four ways:
- Direct Entry Midwives (DEM) are educated in obstetrics through self-study and a possible apprenticeship with an established midwife. These individuals work with no certification.
- Certified Midwives (CM) meet the requirements of the American College of Nurse Midwives, but they are not required to be nurses.
- Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) have earned the requirements of the North American Registry of Midwives.
- Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) have the most advanced educations, with certification as nurse practitioners. Like CPMs, they must meet the requirements of the North American Registry of Midwives.
South Carolina maintains a midwife licensing program, but education levels may still vary among practitioners. According to the American Journal of Obstetrics, stillbirths are 10 times more likely in homebirth deliveries, assisted by midwives.
These tragedies leave families with mental and emotional pain, in addition to substantial medical costs. Our Myrtle Beach OB malpractice lawyers are ready to assist victims of obstetrical malpractice.
Secure representation from our Myrtle Beach obstetrical malpractice lawyers
The Myrtle Beach OB malpractice attorneys of McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, are prepared to fight for the rights of mothers and children to get the compensation they deserve when a medical mistake causes harm. To schedule a free case evaluation at our Surfside Beach, South Carolina office, call us at 803-327-7800 or use our contact form.