There are about four million births in the United States every year, and over 30 percent of these are cesarean sections. According to the World Health Organization, there is no empirical evidence to support an improvement in overall maternal and fetal outcomes once a country’s C-section rate exceeds 15 percent. Yet, there is no question that emergency C-sections are life-saving procedures for many mothers and babies. Without this important surgery, childbirth would claim thousands of lives every year.
As C-section rates in the U.S. have climbed, however, patients have begun to question whether a C-section is always the safest choice.
In some situations, doctors must rush into a C-section because they waited too long to deliver a baby or because they failed to properly monitor the fetus, leading to a cascade of interventions ending in an emergency procedure. Because emergency C-sections carry a much higher risk than planned cesareans, it’s critical for doctors to adhere to a high standard of care for each and every patient.
Medicine, and especially obstetrics, is unpredictable. In the labor and delivery unit, there are two lives at stake: the mother and the baby. Doctors are not perfect; they are subject to the same errors in judgment as anyone else. When their actions or inactions cause harm to a mother or an unborn child, they must be held responsible for any injuries that result.
At LawMD, our birth injury lawyers help families hurt by medical mistakes during emergency C-sections. If you or your child suffered injuries or complications following an emergency C-section, contact a Washington DC birth injury lawyer to fight for your recovery.
Contact us today for a free consultation; call (888) 695-2963 or submit an online request form.
Delayed Emergency C-Sections
When an unborn baby is in distress, the clock starts ticking. Doctors and nurses must move quickly to deliver the child so they can stabilize the medical problem causing the distress. In general, obstetricians aim to perform the C-section and deliver the baby within 30 minutes of an identified problem—a timeframe known as “decision to incision.” The more time that passes, the greater the likelihood of long-term damage or fetal or maternal death.
In some cases, however, a doctor waits too long to perform a C-section. Each birth is different, and many factors influence a physician’s decision to move forward with an emergency cesarean, but certain warning signs almost always indicate a need for immediate delivery.
These warning signs include:
- Fetal distress – When an unborn baby’s heart rate drops, doctors must work quickly to deliver the child to avoid oxygen deprivation, which can lead to severe brain damage.
- Uterine rupture – Uterine rupture is an extremely dangerous labor complication that can cause death in the mother and the baby due to maternal blood loss and lack of oxygen for the unborn baby.
- Cord prolapse – The baby receives its oxygen through the umbilical cord. When the cord exits the birth canal before the baby, the baby’s weight can cut off blood flow to the cord, causing brain damage or death.
- Placenta previa – Placenta previa, which occurs when the placenta covers the cervix, can be diagnosed prior to delivery, but doctors don’t always catch it. During a vaginal birth, placenta previa can cause dangerous bleeding in the mother.
Surgical Mistakes during C-section
Cesarean section is the most routine surgical procedure in the United States, but it is still a surgery and a major one at that. Because C-sections are so common, many people think they are almost entirely without risk. On the contrary, any abdominal surgery carries a high rate of risk. Common errors include damage to the bladder or bowel, infection of the incision site, failure to remove the entire placenta, and failure to control bleeding. In the most heartbreaking cases, a doctor’s error leads to complications that destroy a patient’s fertility.
At LawMD many of our attorneys are also medical doctors who have extensive personal experience in medicine. We understand how devastating it is for families to deal with a serious medical crisis during what should have been the happiest moment of their lives. This is why we work hard every day to bring these families closure and compensation.
Call an Experienced Emergency C-Section Lawyer Today
If your baby was injured due to a doctor’s mistake during labor or delivery, or if your child suffered complications during an emergency C-section, our birth injury lawyers can help. We also assist mothers who have been injured due to a doctor’s error or a hospital’s negligence during an emergency C-section.
Contact our physician-attorneys at (888) 695-2963 to schedule a free Consultation today.