A C-section, or cesarean delivery, is a way of delivering a baby through an incision of the mother's abdomen and uterus. C-sections are a vital emergency option for mothers and their babies who face serious birth complications. But C-sections are a serious surgery and come with risks. Sometimes doctors fail to perform a timely C-section, or make mistakes during the surgery, or opt for a C-section when it is avoidable and puts the mother and child at increased risk. These situations could put the mother and child at serious risk for permanent injury or worse.
If you believe you or your child has been injured due to a negligent C-section procedure, contact Gilman & Bedigian today.
C-section or Vaginal Birth
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that 85% of pregnancies in the United States reach full term without any complications. But when serious birth complications are involved, C-sections can save the lives of the mother and child.
Your doctor may decide ahead of delivery that you will require a C-section, or a complication might result in an emergency C-section.
You might need a planned C-section if:
- You previously had a C-section or another surgery on your womb or had previous birthing issues
- You have a condition like high blood pressure diabetes, or heart disease
- The baby is in breech position, sideways, or is changing positions
- You are expecting multiple babies and the first baby is in breech position
- You have problems with your placenta, like placenta praevia
- There are problems with the umbilical cord, like prolapse (when the cord comes out before the baby) or the cord is wrapped around the baby's neck
- You have an infection
- You have a serious condition like pre-eclampsia
- The baby is too big for a vaginal birth
- The baby has certain birth defects
You might need an emergency C-section if:
- Labor is progressing too slow or stops completely
- The baby shows signs of fetal distress, has a heart rate that is too high or low, and may be in danger for a lack of blood or oxygen supply
- The baby changes position and becomes breeched or lays sideways
- There are problems with the placenta like placental abruption when it detaches from the uterus too early
- You are under too much physical stress from labor
When a C-Section is Necessary
C-sections are a major surgery, and there are risks to the operation. But sometimes the risks of not performing a C-section are even higher. Six out of the ten most common errors that obstetricians face legal repercussions for are related to a negligent C-section, either from failing to perform one or from failing to perform one sooner.
If doctors fail to recognize signs of fetal distress, or fail to actively monitor the mother and child during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, or otherwise delay an emergency C-section, the mother and child could be at risk of permanent injury. The baby may face restricted oxygen or blood flow that could lead to serious brain and organ injury.
85% of pregnancies in the US reach full term without complications. Sometimes doctors simply want to speed up the process, or fail to let the natural birthing process take place. A 2011 study by the journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that the main cause for C-section in the United States is “failure to progress” during labor. But this is a loose term referring to how long a woman has been in labor and what stage she has progressed to.
Risks of a C-section
Risks to the baby include:
- Cuts and lacerations from surgery, 1 in 50 babies are accidentally cut during a C-section
- Breathing problems, especially if the baby is born early or before the labor process started
- Delay in breastfeeding
- Permanent medical issues like obesity or allergies
Risks to the mother include:
- Excessive bleeding or hemorrhaging
- Surgical injury, can include
- Uterine rupture, risks increase after a C-sections was preformed
- Increased surgical risks after C-section, mothers who undergo a C-section face risky birth complications in future pregnancies, and will have to birth any future children through a C-section delivery
- Blood clots
- Adverse reactions to anesthesia
- Increased risk for infection
- Complications with the surgical wound
C-sections have a longer recovery process, with up to two weeks of recovery time for a vaginal birth, and up to six weeks of recovery time for a C-section.
The law offices of Gilman & Bedigian understand medical negligence and malpractice laws. We have the experience and knowledge you need to win your case. If you family is facing injuries from a negligent C-section, contact our offices for a free case review and to learn more about your options.