Cesarean deliveries have become more common in recent years, with more than 1.2 million women undergoing this operation annually. When performed with care, C-section risks are manageable, but when a medical practitioner is negligent, the risks soar.
While the improper care at the hands of a physician can prove fatal, these situations are not the only example of malpractice. If your birth has left you or your child suffering, you may have a case for medical malpractice. Learn about some of the medical team–induced injuries associated with cesarean deliveries.
For some women, a cesarean delivery is a choice. But for many women, the need for a C-section arises due to an emergency complication, such as a larger than expected baby or umbilical cord concerns. Once a provider determines the mother must deliver by an emergency C-section, swift action is required.
A delay in performing this procedure puts the infant at an increased risk of oxygen deprivation. Just as it sounds, oxygen deprivation is a period in which the air supply to the unborn child is limited. This lack of air may result in cerebral palsy or developmental delays.
When a physician is aware of the emergency but continues in their effort to deliver vaginally or is slow to begin the operation and the child is injured as a result, this is negligent behavior.
Bowel and Bladder Trauma
The space between the uterus and your bladder and bowel systems is very narrow. As a result, when a surgeon makes the incision in the uterus, they must be especially careful not to hit the bladder or bowels; the same is true when closing the incision.
When a practitioner does not exercise the right level of care, they can leave the mother to experience lifelong complications. Additionally, when a woman undergoes a cesarean delivery she must have a catheter installed — a narrow tube inserted into the body to remove fluids, including waste from the bladder.
Incidents of medical malpractice may also arise when the medical team does not install or remove the catheter correctly.
Erb's palsy is an injury that typically onsets during the birthing process. This injury is the result of nerve damage sustained within the shoulder area of the infant, due to forceful and rough pulling of the child from the birth canal. Given the cause of Erb's palsy, it is more often associated with children birthed vaginally.
But a woman who delivers by a C-section can also deliver a child with this injury, particularly if the birth process began with a vaginal attempt. If your child has been diagnosed with this condition, don't rule out malpractice.
Some women are left to face the unfortunate reality that their last birth is literally their last. When a woman is exposed to infection-causing practices during the C-section and her recovery in the hospital, she may develop endometritis, an infection of the uterine lining.
Endometritis can lead to pain in the uterine area and in some cases can take away a women's ability to conceive a child. Even if the mother is at increased risk of developing this infection, such as those diagnosed with anemia and diabetes, the medical team must take precautions to safeguard against this type of risk.
Childbirth is a life-changing experience that should be filled with joy, not sorrow. If your family suffered during or after the birth of your child, you deserve to have someone explore your legal rights. At POOLE William C. Poole, LLC, we're happy to partner with your family during this sensitive time and ensure your rights are protected. Contact us today.