In certain births, delivery of a baby is not safe for the mother or the child through the vaginal canal. There are several reasons this may be the case, including health issues of the mother and problems during labor. In these circumstances, the baby is delivered by performing a cesarean section or C-section surgery to remove the baby through an incision made in the mother’s abdomen.
These surgeries are one of the most common surgeries performed and are used in an estimated 1 out of 4 childbirths. While C-sections are generally done to protect the mother and child from injury, when mistakes are made during this common surgery, it can cause severe injuries and even death to the infant.Reasons For Performing A C-Section
Many C-Sections are planned procedures due to a condition that is known during pregnancy. These preplanned surgeries are often due to a health problem with the mother, such as heart or kidney disease, where the stress of labor may put the mother at risk. Other reasons a C-section may be planned is when there are multiple babies, risk of spreading an infection from the mother to the child or if the baby is in a breach position.
In other cases, a C-section is performed as an emergency procedure due to problems before or during delivery. These are the most precarious as the doctor must make the decision to change to a C-section in time to overcome the problem and prevent injury or death to the mother and child. Reasons for an unplanned C-section include:
- Labor is too slow, too difficult or stops completely
- Baby shows signs of distress
- Child is too large for birth canal
- Placenta or umbilical cord pose risk to the child
Once the decision is made to perform an emergency C-section, it is imperative that all precautions are made to prevent injury to both the child and mother. Although the risks of C-Section injuries are low, many happen due to mistakes by the medical staff performing the surgery.C-Section Mistakes That Can Cause Infant Injuries
As in any surgery, there are risks when performing a C-section. The use of anesthesia as well as trauma from the incision can cause complications. However, there are many times that injuries are caused not from the surgery but instead by errors made by the surgeon and their staff which are completely preventable. Mistakes that can cause injury to the infant are:
- Lacerations. One of the most common injuries in C-sections to the newborn are cuts or lacerations from the incision. These can cause additional trauma to the child, scarring and even excess blood loss.
- Broken bones. When removed incorrectly from the incision, the child may suffer broken bones which may lead to deformity if not corrected.
One of the most dangerous mistakes that can be made involving a C-section delivery is the physician delaying the surgery. During labor, the infant should be monitored for any signs of distress. If the labor is too difficult or taking too long, it is imperative that the doctor makes the decision to remove the child by cesarean section as soon as possible. Delaying the procedure even a few minutes more than needed can have dire consequences for the infant. The largest risk is hypoxia or lack of oxygen to the brain. The result of this unnecessary delay can cause:
- Brain damage that can result in mental deficiencies
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erb’s Palsy
- Lung or heart problems
Injury to a child during a C-section or due to the delay of the procedure that results in permanent damage or even worse, the loss of the child, is too often due to medical errors. It is heart breaking that such a common procedure can cause such damage to a child and their family when done incorrectly. If your child suffered an injury during childbirth due to errors regarding a C-section procedure, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the injury or loss of your child. This can include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Professional medical care
- Lost wages
Our team at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are prepared to meet with you and your family free of charge to discuss your case. We are experts in medical malpractice law and have won many cases involving child birth injuries. Call us today to schedule your no-obligation appointment.
Learn more about the correlation between delayed c-sections and injury to the baby: