Loss of blood during labor and the delivery of a child can pose a serious health risk. Excessive bleeding is a technical term used to describe births in which the mother looses more than 500 ml of blood (or twice that amount, during a Cesarean delivery). Another term that may be used is postpartum hemorrhaging, a condition which may have any number of underlying causes. Failure to correctly identify the situation and to halt the bleeding can drastically increase the risk of further medical complications that may result in lasting injury or even the premature death of either the mother or the newborn.

Leading Causes of Postpartum Hemorrhaging

While some bleeding is to be expected during delivery and birth, excessive bleeding may be caused by any of the following issues:

  • Ruptured placenta or damage to the uterus
  • Issues caused by blood clots or insufficient clotting
  • Failure of the uterus to sufficiently contract following delivery

Once blood loss reaches a certain point, complications may become unavoidable. Medical staff and healthcare providers that fail to promptly identify the problem and to address the underlying issue causing it may be guilty of medical malpractice.

Complications Associated With Excessive Bleeding

Blood loss might seem like a minor concern, but even a small quantity of blood loss is often enough to lead to serious consequences. Losing too much blood leads to a condition known as hypovolemia, which in turn may lead to decreased blood pressure or cardiac issues, such as arrhythmia which has the potential to be life threatening. Taking prompt action in order to manage the situation is absolutely essential in order to minimize the risks posed to both mother and newborn. Postpartum hemorrhaging that is not immediately identified and addressed drastically increases the risks and severity associated with any complications that may arise.

Later stage symptoms of hemorrhaging may include anemia, as well as septic or hypovolemic shock. Shock represents an immediate medical emergency and can quickly lead to the death of the patient in instances where it is not properly treated. Even with proper medical care, blood loss that is too severe may still result in long-term consequences that may include internal organ damage, loss of cognitive or motor skills and premature death. Excessive bleeding following a delivery is never a condition that providers can afford to misdiagnosis or mismanage as doing so could place patients at far greater risk.

Complications and Health Risks to Newborns

The mother is not the only individual whose health may be placed at risk. Infants may suffer from internal bleeding following a traumatic or difficult birth. Situations where medical devices such as forceps or vacuum extractors are used incorrectly can greatly increase the risk of a brain bleed or other internal injury. Internal hemorrhaging is always a serious concern, but may be especially dangerous for newborns due to their relatively undeveloped blood vessels. Newborns who are suffering from an internal bleed may also appear asymptomatic which can complicate efforts to identify the problem.

Excessive bleeding following a delivery is a complication which may lead to many problems. Families who lack the financial resources needed to cover additional medical bills or who may not possess the resources needed to manage any long-term consequences that may arise would do well to seek out any assistance that can be found. Being awarded damages following an insurance claim or a legal suit can often make a critical difference, especially for those who might otherwise lack the means needed to deal with the situation out of pocket.

Contacting an Attorney

Excessive bleeding following birth and delivery that is not properly identified and treated by medical staff often constitutes medical malpractice. Taking legal action in order to address the situation can often be the wisest course of action. The solutions and opportunities that can only be made available by working alongside an experienced personal injury lawyer could end up making a crucial difference to those who have suffered from problems arising from postpartum hemorrhaging or other complications during delivery and birth. From determining the extent of any malpractice that may have taken place to ensuring full access to any resources that may be required during the recovery process and beyond, access to the best attorney may be of critical importance.

If you, your child or someone close to you has suffered due to excessive bleeding following labor and delivery, then now is the time to seek legal assistance. A formal consultation may be the first step towards recovering any funds or financial assistance that your family may be owed.