Nearly one-third of all birth deliveries are cesarean sections. Some of these C-sections are elective (meaning that this method of delivery was preferred by the mother), while others are performed for medical reasons. These procedures are much more common than they used to be, and doctors are generally more knowledgeable about identifying risk factors during a pregnancy or birth and determining when a C-section should be performed.
Mothers depend heavily on the advice and the judgment of healthcare professionals to determine whether they and their baby will be best served by a C-section or a vaginal birth. Unfortunately for mothers and their newborns, doctors don’t always make the right call when it comes to the timing of a C-section. The results for a family can be nothing short of disastrous.
Doctors Are Expected to Know What to Look For
Doctors, especially those with any experience with pregnancy, should be able to determine when a C-section is necessary. Some typical characteristics that doctors will look for include:
- If a mother has had a C-section before
- If the fetus is over a certain weight
- If the mother has certain infections or medical conditions
- If there is the possibility of a breech birth
- If the fetus is in distress or there is a blockage of blood flow to the baby during the birthing process.
These warning signs, along with many others, should prompt a doctor to act as quickly as possible to perform a C-section. Professionals are expected to know when it is in the best interest of a mother and/or the baby for this procedure to take place. A responsible doctor will not only look for warning signs well before a mother goes into labor, they will also look for warning signs once labor begins.
A Delayed C-Section Can Have Lasting Consequences
If a medical professional fails to act quickly once they see the signs of a complication, their mistakes can have serious, lasting consequences for a mother and the newborn child. There are several possible outcomes of a delayed C-section, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Birth hypoxia, or blockage of oxygen to the brain
- Developmental problems in a child
- A risk for other serious birth injuries.
Birth injuries can cause a great deal of pain and suffering to a mother or a child. They can also cause many setbacks for a family, some of which might last throughout the entire life of the injured baby. For example, the lifetime costs of cerebral palsy alone can be close to $1 million, once direct and indirect costs are factored in. Sadly, a birth injury can lead to a lifetime of financial hardships, expensive medical care, ongoing treatment, difficulties earning income and a diminished quality of life.
If your child’s injuries are due to a delayed C-section, you might be able to find justice through a medical malpractice claim. Our attorneys have years of experience investigating and handling these types of cases. We help you determine the cause of your child’s injuries and find out who might be at fault. Medical malpractice claims provide a family with the opportunity to hold a negligent doctor accountable for the damage they’ve caused and can often result in payments that help a family cope with the incredible emotional and financial fallout resulting from a birth injury. Contact McNeely Stephenson today to learn more about how we can help you.