A Cesarean section or C-section is the delivery of a baby through a surgical incision in the mother’s abdomen or uterus. There are some circumstances in which a C-section is scheduled in advance. In other cases, a C-section becomes necessary because of an unforeseen complication. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 32 percent of American women who gave birth in 2015 had a C-section as opposed to a vaginal delivery.
When is a C-Section Safer?
A C-section is almost always the safer option particularly when there is fetal distress. One of the most common types of medical negligence that leads to devastating birth injuries, involve medical practitioners who continue to attempt a vaginal delivery instead of performing a C-section particularly after they see symptoms of fetal distress such as lack of oxygen or shoulder dystocia – a condition where the infant’s shoulder is stuck on the mothers pelvic bone. These types of complications may lead to life-changing birth injuries such as cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy.
Another mistake a doctor may make is to administer Pitocin or other drugs to induce labor when they know the baby must be quickly delivered. These drugs come with significant risks in that they may cause contractions to be so fast and strong that the baby suffers from oxygen deprivation. Even riskier in such cases are birth assistive devices such as forceps and vacuum extractors. When used improperly or with excessive force, these tools may cause trauma and bleeding and result in serious brain injuries and/or irreversible brain damage.
C-sections are also the safer option when the mother has complications such as a larger than average baby, placental complications, uterine rupture, umbilical cord prolapse/compression or breech presentation (where the child is feet-first rather than head-first). When doctors fail to recognize these risk factors and fail to perform a timely C-section, birth injuries occur often causing permanent injuries and disabilities.
While C-sections may seem like a scary scenario for families and while moms may take longer to recover from the surgery, often, it is the best way to proceed. If a child or mother has risk factors that are known to make labor and delivery long and difficult, a C-section may be the best route to take so complications such as shoulder dystocia or oxygen deprivation can be prevented.
Standard of Care
The two keys to preventing birth injuries include recognizing fetal distress or a risk factor/condition that may cause such distress, and performing a quick C-section when distress is evident. Medical practitioners must continuously monitor the child’s heart rate when the mother is admitted for delivery. However, in some instances, the medical team may not be properly trained to do this crucial monitoring or there may be a communication issue among the medical staff, which in turn leads to a situation where the doctor is not being contacted quickly enough.
Hospitals should also have the resources to perform an emergency C-section if required. Hospitals must have surgeons available at all times to perform a C-section surgery, especially in crisis situations. An understaffed hospital is one of the most common reasons why C-sections are not done in time, often with disastrous consequences for the child.
If you believe your doctor or hospital was negligent at the time of your child’s birth, which caused his or her injuries and/or disabilities, you may be able to file a birth injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. Families may be able to seek compensation for damages including all medical expenses, cost of therapy, future treatment, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
If Your Child Has Been Injured
If your child has suffered Erb’s palsy or a brachial plexus injury as a result of medical negligence, 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 arm injury case (Erb’s palsy) that was reduced by the appeals court to $1,850,000 because the verdict was so large. This was the highest amount upheld by the appellate courts in an Erb’s palsy case 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.
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 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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