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Labor and Delivery Errors

Labor and Delivery Errors and Complications Can Lead to Birth Injury

If you suffered labor and delivery complications resulting in a birth injury, you are not alone. It is estimated that five to seven out of every 1,000 births in the United States result in some form of birth trauma. Sadly, that equates to thousands of children suffering from birth injuries every year.

Complications vs. Errors

Birth injuries resulting from labor and delivery complications can result from natural causes, such as placenta previa, or doctor and hospital staff errors. It is important to distinguish between the two.

Labor complications are problems that arise in a few weeks prior to or during the labor and delivery of a child. They result from some cause that is generally outside of anyone's control. For example, a larger baby can have a difficult time moving through the birth canal, thus prolonging labor and causing fetal distress. An umbilical cord wrapped around a baby's neck can cut off oxygen supply, which forces a rushed delivery or emergency C-section.

Some other examples of labor complications include, but are not limited to:

  • Head stuck in the birth canal
  • Breech baby
  • Premature labor
  • Abnormal heart rate in the mother or baby
  • Water breaking without inducing labor
  • Cephalo-pelvic disproportion

Labor and delivery complications can put both a mother and her unborn baby in danger. Calling 911 or getting to the hospital in a timely manner can give your care team needed time to diagnose, monitor and treat any issues that can resulting in birthing complications.

It is standard practice to take immediate action and deliver a baby as soon as possible to reduce the distress. Unfortunately, it is more likely that a doctor and hospital staff will make mistakes in these fast-paced and tense situations, and that these errors will put a child at greater risk for a birth injury.

All-Too-Common Labor & Delivery Mistakes

Labor and delivery errors are clear, identifiable mistakes that put a mother or a baby at harm. In many cases, they arise when hospital staff is not properly trained, or a doctor does not exercise caution and diligence when making decisions and performing a procedure.

Birth injuries can result from labor and delivery errors, such as:

  • Failure to monitor baby
  • Improper use of forceps and vacuums
  • Failure to detect changes in heart rate, lack of oxygen and other signs of fetal distress
  • Delay in ordering a C-section
  • Pulling or pressing too hard when delivering a baby
  • Failure to exercise caution with surgical tools
  • Administering too much medication or the wrong medication
  • Failure to diagnose a birth complication

Did you know? A doctor has the professional responsibility to recognize complications and take appropriate action to prevent harm to a mother and baby. Failure to do so may be cause for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Find Out More

The Birth Injury Team is a subsidiary of Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., made up of experienced attorneys and medical professionals. Our lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience handling birth injury cases. We are dedicated to helping parents understand their child's condition and guiding them through the process of securing the care and support they need.

To discuss your needs with one of our professionals, contact our office, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We serve clients across the United States.


Located in Philadelphia, Silvers, Langsam & Weitzman, P.C., home of MyPhillyLawyer, serves clients in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, and throughout the United States.

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