Why is Informed Consent Critical During Childbirth?

Childbirth can be a time of excitement and celebration. It’s an experience that’s unique and special to each patient.

However, for some, childbirth can be a time of uncertainty and can quickly change from good to an emergency.

That’s why each decision, each step and each treatment given by health professionals should be communicated and accepted by the person giving birth. This form of consent ensures that the patient is making informed decisions for themselves and their baby.

In this blog, we’ll discuss informed consent and how critical it is in healthcare, especially during childbirth.

Informed consent is critical for the patient and healthcare provider.

Informed consent is a process between a patient and the healthcare provider that helps the patient decide what will and will not be done to the patient’s body. Regarding childbirth, informed consent gives the patient authority to decide about the care that affects her baby.

Informed consent means that your provider is responsible for explaining:

  • The type of care being offered and why
  • What that care looks like
  • The harms and benefits associated with this type of care
  • Explaining alternatives to this care and the harms and benefits of the alternatives

Informed consent ensures a patient’s right to autonomy and the right to protect themselves and their child’s health and body.

Consent must be given to your healthcare provider.

Your healthcare provider must ask you for consent prior to an examination, to investigate anything or give care or treatment.

You must be asked whether or not you agree to every medical procedure, even if it is as minor as taking your blood pressure. You don’t have to speak to show that you agree. You could simply hold your arm out for the blood pressure cuff. This will indicate to the healthcare professional that you are comfortable moving forward.

Common causes/symptoms of birth injuries

Studies indicate that for every 1000 babies born in the U.S, five will be injured during birth. Some common types of practices that often result in preventable birth injuries are:

  • Excessive twisting or pulling during delivery
  • Unskilled use of obstetrical tools such as forceps or vacuum extraction pumps
  • Overuse of Pitocin when inducing labor
  • Improper use or interpretation of electronic fetal monitoring equipment
  • Emergency C-section delay or failure

In West Virginia, common birth injuries have led to:

  • Erb’s Palsy
  • HIE and Infant Brain Injuries Due to Lack of Oxygen
  • Cerebral Palsy

West Virginia Statute of Limitations for Birth Injuries

Claimants must be aware of the statute of limitations in West Virginia. A statute of limitations is a state law that requires a person to file a claim within a certain amount of time.

The statute of limitation in West Virginia for birth injuries can be longer than the typical two-year time limit in most medical malpractice cases. Therefore, if you have questions about the statute of limitations in a medical malpractice case involving a birth injury, you should call the lawyers at Tiano O’Dell now and get the answer.

If you believe your child was the victim of birth injury malpractice, our caring WV Medical Malpractice Attorneys can provide a free consultation to determine if you have a case and are eligible for financial compensation.