The delivery of a child by Caesarean section, also known as a C-section, is a surgical procedure often recommended in high-risk birth situations to protect the child. A Cesarean procedure allows the medical team to deliver the baby through incisions in the mothers’ abdomen and uterus. C-sections are often recommended when the baby’s vital signs are declining, the labor is prolonged, or when the baby is in an atypical position making it difficult or impossible to achieve a natural delivery. Births by Caesarean section have become common in recent years, and the Centers for Disease Control report that in 2015, 32% of all deliveries in the U.S. were by C-section.
Birth via a C-section may provide the safest method of delivery for the mother and child, but there are risks associated with any surgical procedure.
Risks to the Baby
• Prolonged Labor: This can occur if after a period of several hours of strong contractions, the mother’s cervix has not dilated enough for the baby to pass through the birth canal.
• Distress. If the obstetrician is concerned about changes in the baby’s heartbeat, a C-section may be necessary to ensure the baby’s health.
• Abnormal Presentation. A C-section may be the safest way to deliver the baby if he or she is in a breech or transverse position.
• Multiple Births. A C-section might be indicated if the mother is carrying more than one child.
• Issues with the Placenta. If the placenta covers the opening of the cervix, a C-section is often the recommended method for delivery.
• Prolapsed Umbilical Cord. A C-section may be recommended if the umbilical cord drops from the uterus and through the cervix into the vagina, ahead of the baby. The concern with umbilical cord prolapse is that pressure on the cord from the baby may compromise blood flow to the child.
• Obstruction. A C-section may be recommended if the mother has large fibroid tumors that obstruct the birth canal, or in instances where the baby is simply too large to move through the birth canal.
• Previous C-section. Some health care providers often recommend repeat section.
Risks to the Mother
Caesarean section deliveries can also present risks to the mother. The risks include:
• Blood clots in the legs or lungs are one of the most common complications of a C-section
• Infection at the surgical site or in the uterus or other pelvic organs
• Severe blood loss due to hemorrhaging
• Lacerations or cuts to pelvic organs, requiring an additional surgery to repair
• Anesthesia complications: incorrect dosage or allergic reaction
If you or your child has suffered an injury due to a delivery via a Caesarean section, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. In is important to be aware that time frame to file a claim is limited, so we recommend that you contact Burg Simpson and schedule a free consultation with an attorney to discuss your options. Our medical malpractice team will investigate your case and help you to understand your legal rights.