Willens Law Offices Articles Oligohydramnios and Chicago Birth Injuries - Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Oligohydramnios and Chicago Birth Injuries - Medical Malpractice Lawyers

By Matthew Willens  Dec. 16, 2016 12:53p

Pregnancy and childbirth are extremely delicate procedures that require the highest level of care on the part of the pregnant mother, family and friends, and most importantly, the medical practitioners and medical care staff in charge of the delivery. Even a small amount of negligence can result in serious and debilitating birth injuries. Oligohydramnios is one such condition that can put the life of the mother as well as the baby in danger, leading to a number of complications. Our Chicago birth injury lawyer explains this in detail.

What is Oligohydramnios?

Oligohydramnios is a condition that is caused due to low amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac. The amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby in the womb protects it from developmental problems. Low amniotic fluid is usually a result of placental malfunctions, leading to problems with development of the fetus, provision of essential nutrients to the fetus, and growth and maintenance of the body temperature of the fetus.

Oligohydramnios is often seen in mothers who develop complications associated with:

  1. Cord compression
  2. Hypoxic Ischemic encephalopathy
  3. Foetal growth restriction
  4. Uteroplacental insufficiency
  5. Preterm birth
  6. Cerebral palsy
  7. Premature rupture of membranes (PROM)
  8. Meconium aspiration
  9. Placental abruption
  10. Preeclampsia

Oligohydramnios and Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Oligohydramnios may occur due to placental malfunctions or cord compression during delivery. It affects about 4 to 8 percent of pregnancies. In such cases, if any of the conditions that cause Oligohydramnios leads to abnormalities in heart rate, it can cause Hypoxic Ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a condition that causes brain damage due to lack of oxygen reaching the brain. HIE can lead to permanent brain damage causing conditions like cerebral palsy.

Symptoms of Oligohydramnios

Though Oligohydramnios has no identifiable risk factors, it is usually seen among women who have maternal diabetes, placental problems, lupus, and high blood pressure. The signs and symptoms of Oligohydramnios include:

  1. Discomfort in the abdomen
  2. Uterine contractions
  3. Little or no foetal movement
  4. Rapid growth of the uterus
  5. Amniotic fluid leakage

Treatment of Oligohydramnios

Oligohydramnios can occur in any of the trimesters. If a pregnant mother is diagnosed with Oligohydramnios, there is generally no long-term treatment for the condition. However, early diagnosis and preventive treatment by attempting to increase amniotic fluid with increasing intake of fluids, amniofusion or instillation of saline solution into the amniotic sac and intravenous fluid delivery can increase amniotic fluid.

Medical malpractice and legal considerations

Diagnosis, treatment and care of the pregnant mother lies in the hands of the medical practitioners, the obstetrician and the hospital staff under whose care the mother is in. Therefore continuous monitoring a mother with Oligohydramnios is extremely vital. Medical malpractice and resulting birth injuries are preventable, and negligence can have devastating consequences. Negligence that amounts to malpractice includes:

  1. Not conducting a thorough medical check-up, and not maintaining a proper medical history of the pregnant mother.
  2. Failure to recognize signs and symptoms of low amniotic fluid, placental malfunctioning and insufficiencies and fetal distress that can result in Oligohydramnios.
  3. Inability to prevent conditions that can cause Oligohydramnios.
  4. Incorrect use of forceps or vacuum.
  5. Not following proper standards or inability to detect need for C-section procedures.
  6. Not obtaining proper consent or not informing a mother with risks associated with oligohydramnios and delivery.

If you think medical negligence is responsible for causing your child’s birth injury, you should consult a Chicago birth injury lawyer for legal assistance.

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