Birth Injuries Caused by Failed or Erroneous C-Sections
The natural process of childbirth is extremely stressful and painful. Some mothers may not be in the right health to attempt a natural childbirth. The Cesarean section – or C-section – is a surgical procedure that was developed to circumvent complications of delivery by extracting the child through an incision made in the mother’s abdomen and then uterine wall. C-sections may be fairly common today but it is still a risky surgical procedure that should only be attempted when absolutely necessary, as in to protect the mother’s health or that of her child.
If a doctor chooses to perform a C-section that is not a medical necessity, then it could jeopardize the wellbeing of the mother and child. Injuries resulting from incorrectly performed or unnecessary C-sections can be severe, permanent, and life-threatening. The infant may also experience birth injuries, such as lacerations or pulled joints. A medical malpractice claim may be valid if it can be shown that the mistakes of the doctors performing the C-section were caused by behaviors outside the acceptable standards of care.
Medical Malpractice When a C-Section is Not Performed
Despite the inherent risks of major surgery, there are many cases when a C-section must be performed, and as soon as possible. Medical practitioners that fail to recognize the need for a C-section place the mother and her unborn child in significant danger due to their misdiagnosis or negligence. The same can be said of doctors and surgeons that perform a C-section but too late, allowing the mother or child to become harmed due to the delay.
Indicators that a C-section may be necessary to protect the mother and child include:
- Fetal distress: If there is any medical evidence to suggest that the unborn child is in distress, then a doctor is expected to take immediate action to resolve the issue. In many situations, emergency C-sections are performed, even if this requires a child to be born many weeks early.
- Unpredictable blood pressure: A woman going into labor should still have a fairly predictable blood pressure and pulse. Spikes and dips in her heart’s rhythm could indicate serious complications experienced during labor or delivery and may necessitate a C-section.
- Transverse presentation: Ideally, a child will be birthed headfirst. When a child is in any other position, it is known as transverse presentation. Unborn children in particularly abnormal positions within a mother going into labor might only be safely born following a C-section.
- STD: Some sexually-transmitted diseases can be transmitted to a newborn birthed through typical methods. A C-section can prevent the transmission of these diseases.
Doctors are expected to recognize potential dangers and make the right call to protect a mother and her child, no matter how complicated or difficult the situation. The ability to always make the correct decisions and never hurt a patient out of negligence and unacceptable practices is a cornerstone of the doctor-patient relationship. Failing to perform a C-section, or performing one incorrectly, can therefore be a clear indicator of medical malpractice.
If you or your child was injured due to the mistakes of a doctor in the delivery room, Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt, LLC and the law firm’s Baltimore birth injury attorneys want to hear your claim. They have intentionally focused much of their practice on birth injury cases and proudly represent parents with birth injury cases around the country. To date, the firm has been able to recover more than $500 million in compensation for their clients overall. Contact their law office today to learn more about your rights, legal options, and how to schedule a free consultation.