Approximately 30 percent of babies born in the United States are born via cesarean section or C-section. Some mothers plan a C-section in advance for personal reasons or health concerns. Others are forced to deliver their baby through an emergency C-section because medical complications make a vaginal birth too dangerous. One of the most crucial responsibilities obstetricians and other medical staff have is to recognize when unplanned or emergency C-sections are needed to protect the health of the mother or the baby. Delayed C-sections or proceeding with vaginal birth when a C-section is safer can lead to preventable birth injuries.
Failure to Provide a Timely C-Section
Like all doctors, obstetricians have a legal obligation to provide reasonably skilled medical treatment to expectant mothers. This includes carefully weighing the risks associated with vaginal birth versus cesarean delivery on a case-by-case basis. A mother may require an emergency C-section if labor is prolonged, the baby is in a breech position, problems with the umbilical cord or placenta cuts off the baby’s blood supply, or other medical complications arise. If a mother requires an emergency C-section, the procedure must be carried out quickly. If a doctor waits too long to perform a C-section or fails to perform a necessary C-section, the baby or the mother could be left with lasting injuries.
Consequences of Delayed C-Section
The most common danger associated with failure to provide a timely C-section is reduced blood supply to the infant. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is a condition caused by a lack of blood flow to the baby’s brain. Lack of oxygen-supplying blood to the brain can cause immediate brain cell death. Dying brain cells may then release toxic chemicals that damage nearby brain cells. Brain damage from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy can lead to:
Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
Hearing and vision impairment
Sensory processing problems
Delayed C-sections may also lead to cerebral palsy. Children with cerebral palsy may suffer from muscle spasms and rigidity, inability to walk, difficulty swallowing and speaking, seizures, intellectual impairment, and other life-changing symptoms. They may require specialized medical care for the rest of their lives.
Contact a Cook County Delayed C-Section Lawyer
Failure to perform a timely C-section can lead to physical and intellectual impairment, muscle and movement problems, and even infant death. If your baby suffered a birth injury or passed away and you suspect that negligent medical care contributed to your baby’s birth injury, contact a Chicago birth injury attorney from Birth Injury Law Alliance. You may be able to hold the negligent medical practitioner accountable and recover financial compensation through a birth injury claim. Call 312-945-1300 for a free consultation.