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What are the risks of C-section errors?

On Behalf of | Jan 2, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

Cesarean sections are a common – but sometimes risky – surgical procedure used in cases where natural childbirth may be too dangerous for the mother or child.

Many obstetricians have routinely used C-sections for so-called “high-risk” pregnancies, which have risen over the years. But many doctors often resort to the procedure for low-risk deliveries.

C-sections account for nearly one-third of all births

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 32% of all births in the U.S. in 2017 were cesarean deliveries. That rate amounted to a 0.1% increase over 2016. However, the C-section delivery rate had decreased the four previous years after an all-time high of 32.9% in 2009.

The rate in Illinois in 2017 was 31.1%, which remained the same from 2016. More than a quarter of those procedures – 25.1% – were for low-risk pregnancies. That represented an increase from the year before at 24.7%.

Potential injuries from C-sections

While some see cesarean deliveries as a routine procedure, they are still major surgeries with potential complications for the mother and unborn child, such as:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Infection
  • Lacerated bowels
  • Blood clots
  • Lung and heart complications
  • Brain injuries
  • Nerve damage

These events can result in long-term or lifetime medical issues for the mother and the child, or even death in some cases.

Potential causes of malpractice lawsuits

Medical malpractice claims over C-sections are typically related to two categories:

  • Failure to perform a C-section
  • Medical errors during a C-section

The actions of OB-GYNs are dictated under a medical standard of care to know when or if a C-section is warranted. This can be when fetal distress occurs, such as an irregular heartbeat, blood pressure variations or when the fetus is entangled in the umbilical cord.

If a doctor notices these or other signs of distress but fails to perform a C-section in a timely manner, it can be grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Whether distress occurs, or the procedure was scheduled for convenience, OB-GYNs or other medical staff can be held accountable for errors.

Work with experienced legal counsel

If you or your child was injured during a C-section, it’s advisable to contact an experienced birth injury attorney who understands that these situations often lead to severe physical, emotional and financial repercussions for families.

Your lawyer will work with medical experts to ascertain what actions led to injuries for the mother or child. A knowledgeable attorney, who understands Illinois laws pertaining to medical malpractice claims, will diligently work to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.