Can a Delayed Cesarean section (C-section) Cause Birth Injuries?

Birth Injuries attorneyA delay in carrying out a cesarean section (C-section) by a medical team can potentially lead to a number of complications including various birth injuries for both the infant and the mother. While C-sections are often performed to mitigate risks during childbirth, a failure or delay in executing this procedure can pose significant dangers. When medical professionals fail to promptly decide and perform a C-section when required, it can result in adverse consequences.

For the infant, a delayed C-section can lead to oxygen deprivation, which causes brain damage, cerebral palsy, or other neurological issues. Additionally, prolonged labor due to delayed intervention increases the risk of birth trauma, such as shoulder dystocia or fractures, affecting the baby’s health and well-being.

A delayed C-section can also endanger the mother, potentially leading to complications such as excessive bleeding, uterine rupture, infections, or injuries to organs like the bladder or uterus. These scenarios underscore the critical importance of timely medical decisions and interventions during childbirth to safeguard both maternal and fetal health.

Birth Injuries Caused by Delayed C-sections

Some of the birth injuries that can affect the infant and/or the mother in such cases are:

  • Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): Delayed C-sections can result in oxygen deprivation to the baby, leading to HIE. This condition occurs when there is a lack of oxygen to the brain, potentially causing brain damage, cognitive impairment, developmental delays, and in severe cases, cerebral palsy.
  • Cerebral palsy: Prolonged labor due to delayed C-sections can result in brain injuries to the infant, leading to cerebral palsy. This neurological disorder affects body movement and muscle coordination, causing lifelong physical and developmental challenges.
  • Birth trauma: Delayed C-sections may increase the risk of birth trauma. For instance, prolonged labor can lead to shoulder dystocia, a condition where the baby’s shoulder gets stuck against the mother’s pubic bone, potentially resulting in nerve damage, fractures, or brachial plexus injuries (Erb’s palsy).
  • Infections: Prolonged labor or delayed C-sections can increase the likelihood of infections for both the mother and the baby. Infections such as sepsis or urinary tract infections can have serious consequences if not promptly treated.
  • Uterine rupture: When a C-section is delayed, there is a heightened risk of uterine rupture, where the uterus tears along the scar from a previous C-section. This complication can cause severe bleeding and endanger both the mother and the baby.
  • Fetal distress and stillbirth: Prolonged labor associated with delayed C-sections can lead to fetal distress, a condition where the baby shows signs of compromised health due to the stress of labor. In severe cases, it can result in stillbirth if immediate action isn’t taken.

Timely decision-making and intervention during childbirth are crucial to prevent these types of birth injuries. Recognizing the signs that necessitate a C-section and promptly performing the procedure when indicated is essential to safeguard the health and well-being of both the mother and the infant.

Contacting a Birth Injury Lawyer

The experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. One of our clients secured a $2,850,000 verdict in an Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus palsy) case that was reduced by the appeals court to $1,846,000 because the verdict was so large. This was the highest amount upheld by the appellate (appeals) courts for many, many years. In addition, we recovered $1,400,000 for a newborn who lost motion in the arm during birth due to doctors applying incorrect force on the baby’s head. One of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

We have seen cases where New York City Health and Hospital Corporation facilities deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) stemming from negligence (carelessness), and/or medical malpractice in the labor and delivery etc. of the children.

The following list identifies some of these hospitals (operated by New York City Health and Hospital Corporation):

• Jacobi Hospital aka Bronx Municipal 1400 Pelham Parkway South Bronx, New York 10461 718-918-5000
• Lincoln Hospital 234 East 149th Street Bronx, New York 10451 718-579-5000
• North Central Bronx Hospital 3424 Kossuth Avenue Bronx, New York 10467 718-519-5000
• Coney Island Hospital 2601 Ocean Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11235 718-616-3000
• Kings County Hospital 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203 718-245-3131
• Woodhull Hospital 760 Broadway Brooklyn, New York 11206 718-963-8000
• Bellevue Hospital 462 First Avenue New York, New York 10016 212-562-5555
• Harlem Hospital 506 Lenox Avenue New York, New York 10037 212-939-1000
• Metropolitan Hospital 1901 First Avenue New York, New York 10029 212-423-6262
• Elmhurst Hospital 79-01 Broadway Elmhurst, New York 11373 718-334-4000
• Queens Hospital Center 82-68 164th Street Jamaica, New York 11432 718-883-3000

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

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