Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Complication Attorney
Many families who file a civil medical malpractice lawsuit require a life care plan to provide the economic loss projections they will endure over the child's lifetime.
Did a birth injury caused by a vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC) complication disable your child? Are you confused about how to proceed with the medical malpractice case, or is the doctor reluctant to reveal what caused your child's severe or fatal injuries?
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can evaluate your case and initiate a free investigation. Call our birth injury law office at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or through the contact form today to schedule a free consultation.
While it is often safe for a woman who has had a previous C-section to deliver a baby naturally, some risks and complications can arise. Therefore, doctors must inform women with previous cesarean sections of these risks and prepare to address those complications during vaginal births.
Failure to inform a woman who had a prior C-section delivery could result in severe vaginal birth injuries to both the mother and the child. In some birth injury cases, complications from vaginal deliveries after cesarean delivery can even cause the death of the mother or the child.
Serious Risks Associated With Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery
Doctors are required to properly evaluate and advise women on the risks of vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC), and failure to do so can be grounds for a malpractice lawsuit.
The high-risk factors of vaginal delivery with the previous cesarean section include but are not limited to the following complications.
- Uterine rupture, often where the scar is located from the prior cesarean section. A uterine rupture is a life-threatening condition, resulting in the baby's breech delivery and placenta through the uterine wall into the mother's abdominal cavity. Because hemorrhaging and fetal distress caused by a uterine rupture may result, doctors must be prepared for an emergency cesarean to save the lives of both the baby and mother.
- Infections that result from the need to perform a cesarean
- Hemorrhaging or aggravation of the scar tissue created by the cesarean section during the prior vaginal birth
- The size of the mother's pelvis – The position and size of the fetus in a mother with a previous cesarean section could influence the risk of vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC)
- Prolonged labor – Any medical condition or complication that prolongs the length of delivery places the baby at risk of oxygen deprivation, leading to severe complications including cerebral palsy and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
No matter what, the physician should be prepared to perform an emergency C-section when necessary. A doctor's failure to properly assess both the mother and baby's condition that led to a birth injury or compromises the mother's health could be an indicator of medical malpractice.
One in four mothers who have had a cesarean section in the past and opt for vaginal delivery the second time must undergo a second C-section due to prolonged labor or other factors. However, delivering the child vaginally usually has fewer risks and a shorter recovery time than undergoing a C-section.
Uterine Rupture and Other Complications
Many doctors, concerned with prolonged labor, will induce the pregnancy using misoprostol (Cytotec). Unfortunately, the use of the medication places the mother at risk of uterine rupture.
The medication effectively starts (induces) labor, resulting in fewer cesarean sections than other drugs, including oxytocin and Pitocin. However, the limited data has yet to determine the proper dose to ensure the child's safety and lower the risk of uterine rupture.
Inducing labor in late pregnancy is often the best method to prevent complications when the pregnant mother and her unborn infant are at risk. Medical professionals often recommend inducing labor for numerous reasons, including avoiding a pre-labor rupture of membranes, better managing maternal high blood pressure, and passing the baby's due date.
Off-Label Use of Cytotec Has Significant Complications in Cases Involving a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Complication
For years, healthcare providers have administered Cytotec (misoprostol) as off-label use for pregnancy, inducing labor because it prepares the cervix for delivery.
However, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) classifies the medication as a Pregnancy Category X medication because of its abortifacient (fetus-aborting) properties due to uterine rupture and other complications before and during vaginal birth.
The FDA states that the risks of prescribing the medication to pregnant mothers significantly outweigh any potential benefit, including inducing labor.
In addition, the adverse reactions related to the off label use of Cytotec include:
- Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE)
- Fetus Bradycardia
- Pelvic Pain
- Retained placenta
- Placental abruption
- Severe vaginal bleeding
- Uterine hyperstimulation
- Uterine infection more likely to occur after a C-section
- Uterine rupture or perforation requiring a surgical repair
- Potential maternal mortality or fetal death
After taking the medication, during hyperstimulation, the mother's muscle contractions squeeze much tighter, leading to the baby's restricted blood flow and deprived of oxygen. In addition, after the pressure is alleviated when the contraction stops, the baby does not have sufficient time to recover completely before the next contraction begins.
As a result, the medication causes the child to become stressed before the vaginal birth or emergency cesarean delivery. In addition, if tears in the uterus lead to uterine rupture, the baby can slip into the mother's abdomen, leading to suffocation before the surgical procedure begins.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), If the mother had a low transverse incision in her prior cesarean section, the risk of experiencing a uterine rupture during vaginal birth after cesarean delivery is approximately one percent.
However, studies reveal that the risk of uterine rupture during vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) increases significantly when the labor is induced or augmented using Pitocin, oxytocin, or Cytotec.
Trial of Labor VBAC Opportunities
Many doctors recommend choosing a trial of labor after cesarean sections due to various factors, including:
- Significant lower risk of surgical problems– Data shows that a successful vaginal birth after cesarean section has a lower rate of excessive bleeding, blood clotting, and infection susceptibility. In addition, mothers who have a successful vaginal birth after cesarean delivery have fewer incidents of deep vein thrombosis, a decreased need for a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), an injury to the bowel, bladder, or other abdominal organs.
- Impact on future pregnancies– If the mother is expected to have additional children in the future, a VBAC might reduce the risk of multiple cesarean deliveries, including placenta accreta and placenta previa.
- Reduced recovery time– Studies show that mothers who undergo a vaginal birth after cesarean section have reduced hospital stays and shorter recovery time than had they undergone a cesarean section. Avoiding surgical procedures can help the mother resume normal activities quicker.
- Individualized birth plan opportunities– Many mothers who have undergone previous cesarean sections believe it is essential to experience a vaginal delivery.
Doctors identify a good candidate for VBAC as:
- Pregnant mothers with one baby who have had a history of one previous C-section with a uterine incision without problems
- Pregnant women with one baby who have a history of no more than two prior low transverse cesarean sections without problems
- Expectant mothers carrying twins who have a history of a single previous low transverse cesarean section
Often, the healthcare provider does not offer VBAC if the mother has experienced two prior C-sections or has a BMI (body mass index) of 50 or higher during labor and delivery. In addition, vaginal birth after cesarean section opportunities is often not an option for pregnant women carrying twins or more multiples fetuses.
Determining Medical Malpractice in VBAC Lawsuits
Did your medical provider fail to inform you of the serious risk factors associated with birth after cesarean (VBAC) complications before your child's vaginal birth? Did the medical professional improperly qualify you as a candidate for vaginal delivery but failed to ensure the delivery was performed at a facility that could accommodate the need for an emergency cesarean delivery?
Did the medical provider fail to properly monitor the child during the delivery to identify any signs of fetal distress? If so, you may be able to make a medical malpractice claim, citing negligence.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is a personal injury law firm dedicated to representing the interests of those throughout Illinois who have been injured due to a physician's or hospital's act of negligence and is ready to fight on your behalf.
Our medical malpractice lawyers represent clients in negligence cases to ensure our clients receive adequate financial recovery to pay for their medical bills and future medical care.
Hiring Medical Malpractice Lawyers to Resolve a Vaginal Delivery Child's Birth Injury Case
A negligent medical professional is liable for any serious injury occurring due to malpractice, and you may be entitled to compensation for current and future medical care and any pain and suffering that has occurred to you and your child.
Our medical malpractice law firm understands that many families do not have sufficient funds to hire an attorney. Because of that, we accept all personal injury cases on a contingency basis, meaning all fees are postponed until the case is resolved.
Call our vaginal birth injury attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or fill out the contact form today to schedule a free consultation call. All confidential or sensitive information you share will create an attorney-client relationship.
Many medical malpractice cases have already been resolved through million-dollar settlements to ensure families have sufficient financial compensation for providing all the treatment and care their child requires.