Frequently Asked Questions About C-Sections and Birth Injuries

A cesarean section is when delivery occurs through an incision into the uterus. This can occur with or without labor preceding the delivery. A cesarean section is considered major abdominal surgery.

A cesarean section may be the safest mode of delivery for some pregnancies. If a baby is very large in relation to the mother’s pelvis, if there are abnormalities of the baby’s spine or organs or if there is any reason to believe the baby may not be able to tolerate the stress of labor, a cesarean section without labor may be required. It is important to discuss the mode of delivery with your healthcare provider and to abide by whatever is deemed safest for the baby and mother.

A primary cesarean section means it is the first time the mother has had a cesarean section. A repeat cesarean section means the mother has had a cesarean section before this pregnancy and delivery and, without labor, a cesarean section is planned for this delivery.

A VBAC is a vaginal delivery after a cesarean section meaning the pregnancy following the cesarean delivery may include a trial of labor and vaginal delivery if there are no contraindications for delivering vaginally.

What are the Risks of Having a C-Section?

The risks of having a cesarean section are the risks associated with having major abdominal surgery. They include the following:

  • Bleeding/hemorrhage

  • Lacerations to bladder, bowel, blood vessels and nerves

  • Lacerations/injury to the baby

  • Lack of oxygen to mom and/or baby

  • Risks associated with anesthesia

  • Blood clots

  • Heart and lung problems

  • Infections

  • Internal organ damage

  • Death

It is important to remember that cesarean sections are not risk-free surgeries but with proper care, the risks to the mom and baby are minimized. A full discussion with your healthcare provider about the risks to the mom and baby should occur before a cesarean section is performed.

When Can a C-Section Birth Injury Be Considered Medical Malpractice?

There are two main scenarios that involve a C-section that can result in birth injuries that may be considered medical malpractice. One is when a C-section should be performed on the mother but is not performed in a timely manner and the other is when the C-section is performed improperly.

  • Failure to perform C-section in a timely manner: Healthcare providers must properly monitor the mother and unborn baby to ensure they are healthy. Doctors, midwives, and nurses are also required to be aware of any signs of distress, complications and other immediate dangers to the mother and child. If there is a sign of distress in either mother or baby or complications arise, a C-section may be immediately necessary. If it is not performed in a timely manner, however, the baby can suffer certain birth injuries, such as brain damage, cerebral palsy and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).

  • In the case of diabetic mothers or mothers with extraordinarily large babies or babies with congenital malformations, a cesarean section may be deemed necessary to prevent injury to the baby. This should be discussed during prenatal care so a planned cesarean section can be scheduled.

  • Failure to properly perform C-section: No matter what the situation in the hospital, if the need for a C-section arises and the doctor does not perform the procedure properly, this is a breach of the standard duty of care one would expect. When a C-section is improperly performed, it can leave devastation in its wake and leave the mom and/or baby with injuries.

If You Have Questions Regarding the Cesarean Birth of Your Child

If you or your baby were injured after you received an improperly-performed C-section, you have the legal right to sue. You would have to consult with a nationwide birth injury attorney to determine whether you have all of your evidence to prove that you indeed have a case. If a doctor or other health care professional was negligent during the time of your C-section, you can sue. If the doctor or other health care professional breached their acceptable standard of care, your rights and those of your baby were violated and you have a right to claim compensation for your injuries and damages.

If your child suffered birth injuries, they may have long-term consequences and need a lifetime of medical care. Due to the highly traumatic and emotional nature of such a situation, you are entitled to receive compensation for additional damages like pain and suffering.

Michael H. Bereston is a Nationwide birth injury attorney who is there to protect your best interests and rights. If you or your child suffered injuries after a C-section, you are entitled to compensation.

Contact The Law Firm of Michael H. Bereston today (410) 220-6581 to discuss your case.

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