Burke Law

Medical Malpractice and Delayed C-Section

By Sean Burke on August 01, 2019

Baby in a delivery roomWhen doctors make mistakes, people’s lives hang in the balance. When those mistakes affect pregnant women and unborn children, the dangers cannot be understated. That’s why the Irvine, CA medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke take birth injury litigation so seriously.

In many birth injury cases, a cesarean delivery (C-section) could have resolved matters and led to the healthy birth of a child. Let’s take a moment to consider the hazards of delayed C-sections and why this procedure matters.

The Importance of C-Sections

Problems with labor must be resolved as soon as possible in order to prevent lasting injuries to the child as well as harm to the mother. Performing a C-section makes this possible. In fact, a C-section may mean the difference between life and death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.2 million births in 2017 (32 percent) were via C-section, meaning it’s quite common and its use should not be delayed when the situation calls for it.

Why a C-Section May Be Necessary

Some instances in which a C-section may be deemed necessary include:

  • Difficult Birth/Delivery - If a woman has spent hours and hours in labor and has made no progress, a C-section is recommended to prevent injuries to the mother and the child.
  • Fetal Distress - Fetal distress means that the baby’s heart rate drops during delivery. A C-section allows the baby to be treated as soon as possible.
  • Uterine Rupture - In some childbirths, a woman’s uterus may tear. When this happens, performing a C-section allows the the baby to be born without doing further damage to a mother’s uterus, and for the rupture to be treated as soon as possible.
  • Placenta Previa - Placenta previa refers to instances in which the placenta is low in the uterus and blocks a baby’s path through the birth canal. A C-section allows for a safe birth despite the obstructed cervix.
  • Umbilical Cord Prolapse - When the umbilical cord leaves the birth canal before the baby, it can cause oxygen deprivation and other issues. A C-section allows the baby to breathe independently as soon as possible.

If a C-section is not performed in these or other instances, it’s important to speak with our Irvine attorneys about your case.

How Long Does a C-Section Take to Perform?

On average, a C-section takes no longer than 30 minutes to perform. This gives you an idea of how quickly these emergency procedures can be completed. Making smart and fast decisions in a delivery room can avoid a number of long-term health repercussions.

The Dangers of a Delayed C-Section

If a C-section is delayed or if a delivery room team takes too long to perform the procedure, it can result in serious harm to the mother and child. A baby may be deprived of oxygen, resulting in brain injuries that will affect their growth and development. For mothers, delayed C-sections could mean excessive blood loss and serious damage to the uterus or pelvis.

When medical teams make mistakes, patients should not have to shoulder the cost of their errors. Our law firm can help hold negligent doctors and accountable for birth injuries and mistakes during delivery.

Contact Burke Law

If you live in the Irvine area and would like more information about your legal options following a medical mistake, be sure to contact our team if injury, accident, and negligence attorneys. You can reach Burke Law by phone at (949) 438-4416.

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