Medical emergencies can happen at any time -- including during the labor and delivery of an infant. Patients expect physicians to prepare for and address these complications as they unfold.
A recent publication, however, finds obstetricians may be preparing for the wrong complication.
What complication are obstetricians prepared to address?
In these cases, doctors are often prepared to treat and manage a seizure. Although seizures are a serious and potentially fatal medical emergency, they are not one of the more prevalent issues a laboring woman will face.
A recent publication from a group focused on emergency management for maternal care found a more common issue obstetricians should focus on: strokes.
What is a stroke?
A stroke can occur when blood stops flowing to a portion of the brain. This can result in cell death leading to permanent damage of the brain. Those who suffer from a stroke may lose the ability communicate, control their muscles, or even die.
Symptoms often include difficulty speaking, confusion, paralysis to one side of the body and blurred vision.
What causes a stroke?
Those with high blood pressure, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea and a family history of strokes are at increased risk. A change in hormones can also result in an increased risk. This includes the increased estrogen present when pregnant or during child birth.
The medical community encourages physicians to reduce the risk of stroke by proactively treating mothers with hypertension, or high blood pressure. This treatment should continue after delivery of the child.
What if a mother is injured by a stroke during labor and delivery?
It is wise to seek legal counsel. In some situations, the injury may be the result of a medical professional's failure to intervene. An attorney experienced in medical malpractice cases of this nature can review the evidence and discuss possible legal remedies.