In centuries past, mothers who were unable to deliver their children vaginally often died, along with their offspring. As is the case with any type of surgery, there are risks, and sometimes mistakes are made. When an OB/GYN makes a preventable mistake during a C-section, and that mistake results in injury to the mother or child, there could be a basis for a medical malpractice lawsuit, requiring the services of a C-section attorney.
What Is a C-Section?
A C-section is a surgical means of delivering a child when the mother is unable to deliver vaginally, or when delivering vaginally could compromise her health. With a C-section, the child is delivered by means of an incision made through the abdomen and the wall of the uterus.
Any surgical procedure carries risk, and a C-section is no different. Even in ideal circumstances, bleeding, infection and/or organ damage can occur. These complications can affect both the mother and the child. In some cases, death can even result.
C-section injury attorneys proceed generally within two categories – improperly performing a C-section, or failing to perform a C-section when one is medically indicated.
C-sections are medically indicated in several instances, and a competent OB/GYN should be able to recognize these instances. If the doctor fails to do so, there could be grounds for a malpractice action. The following are some signs that an OB/GYN should be able to identify:
Often, doctors can identify circumstances well in advance of the birth that would suggest a C-section is warranted. For instance, if there is a malfunction in the placenta (placenta abruption, placenta previa or pre-eclampsia), a C-section would be the medically indicated course of action. These conditions are easy to identify, and even the most inexperienced OB/GYN should notice the signs. If he or she fails to do so, and a C-section injury results, an attorney will likely determine that the duty of care has been violated.
Other pre-natal conditions that could require a C-section include transverse or breech positions (meaning that the fetus is not in the normal head-down position to enter the birth canal) and a history of twins. Again, the OB/GYN should recognize these situations easily.
OB/GYNs today have a multitude of resources at their disposal that enable them to tell if the fetus is in danger. If they fail to make use of these resources, and damage to the child results, your C-section injury attorney will again have grounds for a malpractice claim.
Untimely or Botched C-Section
If the fetus is in distress, and the C-section is not performed quickly enough, the mother and/or the child can be injured. Even if the OB/GYN does realize, in time, that a C-section must be performed, he or she still has to do it competently. Common C-section errors to the child include:
- Broken bones
- Lacerations to the bowels or other organs
- Oxygen deprivation resulting in brain damage
If the wound is improperly closed following the C-section, the mother could develop sepsis or another type of infection. Usually, injuries to the mother and child do not happen if the OB/GYN is competent. If you or your child incurred a C-section injury, your attorney can help you to assemble the evidence needed to prove incompetence.
If you or your child sustained harm due to a C-section injury, an attorney who specializes in this type of malpractice can help you to get the compensation you deserve. You should never try to take on the lawyers that represent a doctor or hospital on your own. A good attorney can make sure that your rights are protected.