Cesarean Injury Attorneys
Helping Families Recover from C-Section Injuries
C-sections are a fairly common practice in the modern medical world. In fact, 33% of all births are accomplished by cesarean. While the chances of a cesarean birth are higher in older women, younger women still face at least a 1 in 5 chance of undergoing a cesarean birth. In effect, no woman is cleared from the possibility of having a cesarean.
What Is a Cesarean?
A cesarean (or C-section) is when a baby is delivered through a surgical incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus instead of a vaginal delivery. It is considered to be major surgery, but a mother will sometimes be awake during it. This is a “last resort” scenario, where doctors will only perform the cesarean if they need to for the health of the baby or mother.
Types of Cesareans
There are three different classifications of cesareans, but the procedure for each is the same.
The first classification is considered to be a “planned” cesarean.
A planned cesarean is where a woman chooses the date of birth of her child with her doctor. Barring any complications that would force a woman to go into labor earlier than her scheduled date, the woman will go to the doctor on the planned cesarean date and have her child delivered through her stomach.
The next type of cesarean is called an unplanned cesarean.
In this scenario, delivery needs to occur through a cesarean due to an unforeseen complication; however, the complication is not considered to put either mother or infant in danger. This is a necessity. Not an emergency.
The last kind of cesarean is called an emergency cesarean.
Emergency C-sections are similar to unplanned ones in that they stem from an unforeseen complication in the pregnancy; however, this complication is a severe hazard that puts the child or mother in imminent danger.
Causes of Various Cesareans
There are numerous reasons why a planned, unplanned, or emergency C-section may take place:
- Being HIV-positive
- Having had more than one previous cesarean
- Having had a cesarean that resulted in a “classical” vertical uterine incision
- Having a history of other uterine surgeries
- Being pregnant with more than one child
- Bearing a child who is extraordinarily large (macrosomia)
- Bearing an infant who is in a breech or transverse position
- Bearing a child while having diabetes
- Nearing full-term but having placenta previa (the placenta is so low that it covers the cervix)
- Having an obstruction, such as a large fibroid, blocking the path of vaginal delivery
- Bearing a child who has a known malformation that could be affected by vaginal delivery
- Sustaining a genital herpes outbreak during labor
- Having the cervix stop dilating while the baby is moving down the birth canal
- Infant’s heart rate is a cause for concern and may not withstand continued labor
- Umbilical cord slips through the cervix, but the infant is still above the cervix
- Placenta starts to separate from the uterine wall (placental abruption)
- Trying a natural birth after having a prior C-section when there is uterine rupture concern
Causes of C-Section Injuries
Doctors are not always as careful as they should be during a cesarean. While there is a 1 in 5 chance that a woman delivering a child will undergo a cesarean, they too often result in injuries.
Some examples of medical malpractice that can lead to C-section injuries include:
- Fetal Lacerations
Fetal lacerations are cuts, scrapes, and other wounds that an infant can receive while being birthed by C-section. In most situations, fetal lacerations are the result of an improperly-performed cesarean procedure. In some severe circumstances, fetal lacerations can cause more severe injuries such as fractures, cervical cord injuries, and brachial plexus ruptures.
- Delayed C-Section
Delayed C-sections occur when a medical staff ultimately fails to recognize the warning signs of delivery in need of a cesarean. In some circumstances, an in utero child will express clear signs of fetal distress with no action taken by medical staff. In other situations, the mother herself may be giving clear signs of distress that are ignored. In the most severe scenarios, infant death can occur. Other consequences may be a deprivation of oxygen resulting in infant brain damage and/or cerebral palsy, the risk of severe physical injury, and delay in physical development.
- Anesthesia Injury
The practice of administering drugs to make a patient comfortable is a necessary process during a C-section. However, there are scenarios where a mother will be allergic to the anesthetic being used or the anesthesiologist will use the incorrect dosage of anesthetic. Common injuries and side effects of medical malpractice involving anesthetic include low blood pressure, internal bleeding, blood clots, severe headaches, placental abruption, and placenta previa.
- Maternal Surgical Injuries
If a doctor accidentally cuts another organ, a mother may have to undergo additional surgery to repair the damage. A common injury during a cesarean is a cut to the bladder.
- Blood Clots
Blood clots are relatively common in mothers not monitored well after a C-section and who are not encouraged to walk within 24 hours. Clots can break apart and travel to other areas of the body, causing significant damage to vital organs.
Holding Doctors’ Accountable for Medical Malpractice
When you choose a delivery doctor, you place your life and the life of your infant in their hands. A surgeon’s choices or mistakes should never negatively impact a mother and child; however, inevitably, some will. If you or a loved one has been the victim of cesarean medical malpractice, you are well within your rights to contact a reputable medical malpractice lawyer. Stewart Tilghman Fox Bianchi & Cain, P.A. is composed of a legal team that has practiced law for 150+ combined years. Our birth injury attorneys can help you and your infant recover the financial damages you deserve. No one should have to suffer from medical malpractice. Our firm’s goal is to help you restore your family for a healthy future.