Giving birth can be both a joyful and traumatic experience for many women, but also a cause for celebration once the baby arrives. However, a post-delivery complication like postpartum hemorrhage can delay the necessary bonding moments with the newborn baby, as the mother may end up fighting for her life instead.
At Telaré Law, our Kennewick birth injury lawyers have helped many clients who have experienced postpartum hemorrhage as a result of medical malpractice. Today, we will explain what this condition is and under what circumstances you should consider filing a lawsuit. We are here to help you every step of the way through this process.
What is postpartum hemorrhage?
Postpartum hemorrhage is a very serious condition in which women experience heavy bleeding during or after birthing a baby. While most women think they are safe after 24 hours, postpartum hemorrhage can occur anytime up to 12 weeks after giving birth.
It is normal to lose some blood while giving birth. In fact, most women lose about 500 milliliters during a vaginal birth and 1,000 milliliters during a cesarean birth. However, if you have postpartum hemorrhage, you will lose a lot more.
This condition usually occurs when your uterus begins contracting to push out the placenta. Contractions are supposed to be strong, and if they are not, the vessels will bleed more than they need to, which could lead to postpartum hemorrhage. This can also occur if the entire placenta does not make its way out. This may result in some pieces remaining in the uterus, causing unnecessary bleeding.
Postpartum hemorrhage statistics
According to March of Dimes, about one to five percent of women experience postpartum hemorrhage. This means that about one to five of every 100 women who have a baby will experience postpartum hemorrhage. While these statistics may seem alarming, it is very important that pregnant people speak to their doctors about the risks of this happening during or after giving birth.
Direct causes of postpartum hemorrhage
Postpartum hemorrhage may occur on its own, or it could be a result of medical negligence on the part of your physician. Here are a few of the direct causes that place women at risk of this condition:
- Anesthesia (especially improperly given anesthesia)
- Assisted delivery
- Prolonged labor
- Medications to stop or induce labor
- Other previous pregnancies
- Being pregnant with twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc.
- Cesarean surgery that was not needed
- Attachment of the placenta
How is postpartum hemorrhage treated?
There are different ways that a doctor may choose to treat postpartum hemorrhage, but they must do so immediately. The reason for this is because it can cause women to go into shock, as their organs are not receiving enough blood flow. This can quickly turn into a dangerous situation, and the patient could even die. The following are a few ways to treat postpartum hemorrhage:
- Giving the patient a blood transfusion
- Providing the patient with fluids and medicines
- A hysterectomy or laparotomy may be required
- The doctor may massage the uterus by hand
- Giving the patient oxygen
- Removing any attached pieces left from the placenta
- Giving iron supplements
- The blood vessels in the uterus may need to go through an embolization procedure
How a Kennewick childbirth injury attorney can help
There are a lot of issues and expenses that come with postpartum hemorrhage cases. For example, when an individual experiences postpartum hemorrhage, it may lead to several other medical problems, such as organ failure, brain damage, excessive blood loss, organ damage, and even death. On top of that, the medical treatment that patients must undergo for this condition can become expensive and time-consuming. Hospital stays in the intensive care unit, surgeries, and hysterectomies may be included.
We understand that this experience can be overwhelming in a variety of ways, but it is important that you think about everything your medical team did before, during, and after you gave birth. If anyone failed to take care of your concerns, handle any issues you were experiencing, or did not provide proper monitoring, you can file a lawsuit for compensation.
We know that you need assistance with paying your medical bills that have quickly accumulated from this situation. Therefore, if you can prove negligence, you will most likely have a successful claim. Nurses and physicians can be considered negligent if they directly caused your postpartum hemorrhage, or did not take the proper steps to quickly take care of the problem.
How much compensation can you recover for a postpartum hemorrhage?
It is important to know that every case is unique and different. Therefore, our lawyers cannot give you an accurate amount for the compensation you may receive for your postpartum hemorrhage. However, we can tell you that if your condition was the result of healthcare negligence, and you suffered a loss or sustained an injury as a result, you could be owed compensation.
To determine the exact amount, we will look at your income loss, medical bill expenses, the lifelong medical care you may need, and your injury or disability. We will also look at the emotional suffering you went through, such as your inability to spend time and bond with your newborn or an inability to have more children in the future.
Determining your compensation is a complicated process, but with the help of a Washington medical malpractice lawyer, you are guaranteed to receive a fair and just settlement.
If you experience postpartum hemorrhage due to medical negligence, reach out to Telaré Law today to share your story. Our birth injury attorneys are caring, understanding, and compassionate with mothers who have gone through these types of situations, and we believe in holding the right people accountable for their actions, including doctors and nurses. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation today. We serve clients in Kennewick and Richland, WA.