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Epidurals may lead to birth injuries for mother, infant

Many California women undergoing childbirth opt to have an epidural. Epidurals are analgesics intended to reduce a woman's pain during childbirth. Administered into the spine, they include a number of different medications and do not eliminate all feeling, but rather help ease a woman's pain. To administer an epidural during the delivery process, a medical professional will insert a catheter into a woman's spinal cord to deliver medication.

Despite the tremendous pain relief that an epidural may bring, they also pose the risk of causing serious injuries. If a negligent doctor or nurse administers an epidural improperly, the results may be catastrophic for mother or baby.

There are a variety of problems that may result from negligent administration of an epidural. A mother may suffer from nerve damage, spinal cord injury, or an infection. Additionally, she may have a seizure, develop respiratory trouble, or acquire low blood pressure. An infant subjected to an errant epidural may suffer from brain damage or oxygen deprivation that leads to a disorder such as cerebral palsy. Additionally, epidurals may result in an infant suffering from a stroke, coma, or poor muscle tone. Furthermore, depending on the effects of an epidural, a doctor may decide it is necessary to use vacuum extraction or forceps to deliver the baby, which can result in additional birth injuries, as well as have medical repercussions for the mother.

Though epidurals are frequently administered and are often safe, mistakes can happen and doctors and other medical professionals can act negligently. If you or a loved one has suffered due to the negligent administration of an epidural, you may have a cause of action for a birth injury case. An attorney may be able to offer assistance.

Source:, "Epidural Birth Injuries," accessed April 8, 2016

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