Despite all the advances in modern medicine, many expectant or new mothers still suffer from maternal shock, which can be fatal under certain circumstances. Shock may occur during the term of the pregnancy, in the midst of delivery, or up to six weeks post-delivery. In many of the cases where a pregnant or new mother or her child suffered serious health consequences or died as the result of maternal shock, the harm could have been prevented with basic medical care.
There are many different medical conditions which, if left untreated, can lead to maternal shock. Some of the most common causes of this serious ailment involve blood loss due to untreated internal hemorrhaging or infections that spread and become serious or even life-threatening. In addition to the risk that maternal shock poses to the mother, it also may lead to severe and permanent harm for the infant.
Common causes of the problems relating to maternal septic or hypovolemic shock
- Infections – It is not uncommon for a woman to suffer from an infection during pregnancy, but if the infection is not diagnosed, is misdiagnosed, or is treated improperly, it may lead to sepsis and cause severe harm to the mother and baby. Bacterial infections pose a serious risk for a pregnant woman;
- Placental abruption – This condition arises when there is an early separation of the placenta from the uterus, resulting in dangerous bleeding. This hemorrhage may lead to hypovolemic shock if not treated quickly;
- Rupture of the uterus – There are a number of traumas that may result in serious damage to the myometrial wall;
- Physical trauma resulting in internal bleeding;
- Problems surrounding an emergency Cesarean section – When a woman must have an unplanned Cesarean section, there are many things that may have gone wrong to lead to this emergency. If there is an unnecessary delay in ordering the Cesarean or if the operation is not performed properly, it may lead to severe harm to both the mother and child. The infant may suffer from oxygen deprivation if there was a serious drop in maternal blood pressure that led to the urgent need for the emergency Cesarean section. Physical trauma to the mother and child also may happen during these events; and
- Infection caused by medical materials and tools being left inside the mother’s body – Whether there has been medical care during the term of the pregnancy or the delivery of the child, there always is the possibility that medical professionals may leave something foreign inside the mother, leading to septic infection that may jeopardize the mother’s life after giving birth or the lives of the mother and child if the medical implement was left inside during the pregnancy. Septic infection can have devastating consequences for everyone.
If the mother has suffered a serious medical condition that resulted in a decrease in blood pressure, then it is likely that the baby will suffer as a result. The blood flow through the uterine wall is controlled as a result of maternal blood pressure. Therefore, if there is a severe drop in blood pressure, then the baby will not get sufficient blood flow and may suffer harm to various critical organs, which may lead to mental or physiological challenges for the child for the entirety of his or her life. In addition, maternal shock may cause a pregnant woman to go into early labor. The premature infant may suffer from a number of serious medical conditions as a result of being delivered before full-term. In the most serious of situations, the life of both the mother and baby may be in jeopardy.
Although septic and hypovolemic shock are the most common types of maternal shock, there are other serious medical conditions that may lead to shock and pose a danger to the health and wellbeing of both the mother and child. A mother may suffer from a heart condition that may lead to cardiogenic shock. Other situations may cause severe physiological trauma and lead to different types of chock. It is imperative that a doctor is aware of the potential medical problems and responds to them appropriately, or an innocent mother and child may pay a terrible price.
Stern Law, PLLC Fights for Those Harmed by a Medical Mistake
Most women get through the trials and tribulations of pregnancy to hold a beautiful baby in their arms, but when a doctor or other medical professionals makes a preventable mistake, the results may be tragic. At Stern Law, PLLC, our birth injury attorney has fought to get families the help that they need after medical negligence has led to emotional devastation. We work hard in order to obtain the resources necessary to pay bills, get needed medical treatment, and compensate for the pain and suffering caused by the terrible error. Stern Law, PLLC also provides resources for anyone with questions or concerns about maternal shock, birth injuries, and the life-long consequences of medical malpractice. We have knowledgeable and dedicated staff members available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, to answer questions. Call us at 1-844-808-7529 or fill out an online contact form in order to learn how we can help you get through this difficult time.