Epidural Birth Injuries

The Dangers of an Epidural

There a few dangers that have become common with the use of this drug. Many mothers want to give birth to a child without having to experience such extreme pain. However, doctors will usually highlight that the use of an epidural never comes without its fair share of risks. You can’t avoid some risks, but there are other times when medical negligence and carelessness can lead to preventable injuries.

Some of the risks to the mother through the use of an epidural include:

  • Nerve damage
  • Seizure
  • Infection
  • Breathing problems
  • Spinal injury
  • Low blood pressure
  • Spinal headache
  • Temporary loss of bladder function

For the child, epidural birth problems include:

  • Jaundice
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brain damage
  • Coma
  • Trouble with breastfeeding

In some cases, with an epidural, the mother may have to have the doctor use vacuum extraction or forceps to deliver the child. This can lead to a variety of injuries if done incorrectly.

The Fault of the Caretakers

There are cases where the fault came on the part of the medical staff, and they could have prevented a birth injury. As an example, the anesthesiologist could have administered too much of the epidural. This job always requires someone who has the right amount of training, experience, and education. Because the area involved when using an epidural sits close to the spinal cord, even a small mistake can turn into heartbreaking consequences. For example, if the anesthesiologist puts the injection too deep, it might put a hole too deep into the protective layers. This can result in spinal fluid leaking out, which can cause the mother to experience severe headaches. This happens with around one in 100 women who choose to take an epidural.

You should always give your permission to have an epidural. Many times, doctors will assume that you want it. If you don’t, however, you have a right to opt-out. You should also request information about the type of medication that they will use. Also, you have a right to know the risks associated with epidural birth injuries. While the administering of an epidural comes with its benefits, you should understand the risks as well.

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Rae S, Editor

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