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Birth Injuries – Delayed C-Section

woman with doctors performing operation

A C-section, or Caesarean section, is an alternative to vaginal delivery. A C-section may be planned in advance or occur in an emergency situation due to a difficult or problematic labor.

A Caesarean section is a medical procedure that could potentially save the life of either mother or baby. Unfortunately, when a C-section is delayed, this could have serious consequences and cause lasting injury or even death. When this occurs, it is important to contact a qualified Chicago birth injury lawyer to learn about your legal rights and options.

When is a C-Section Necessary?

A Caesarean section is necessary when a vaginal birth is not possible or desirable. In some cases, a Caesarean will be requested by a mother, especially for a first baby, to avoid the potential complications of a natural delivery. In other cases, a doctor will recommend a Caesarean section in advance of the birth. This might occur if:

  • The mother has a health issue such as heart disease or high blood pressure.
  • The mother is carrying multiple babies.
  • The mother has an infection such as HIV, genital herpes or other contagious infections that could be passed on to a child during birth.
  • The mother had a previous Caesarean section. (While a vaginal birth may be possible even with a prior Caesarean section, this depends upon the type of uterine incision from the first procedure as well as on other health factors.)
  • The baby is in breach position. A breach baby is upside down, so the legs must be delivered first. A breach delivery is significantly more dangerous.
  • The baby has a health problem such as excess fluid in the brain or other medical conditions diagnosed in utero.

When a C-section is planned in advance, the family and doctor can set the date for the birth. In other cases, a mother may plan to deliver naturally but complications during birth will necessitate a C-section. This may occur if:

  • Labor fails to progress. If the cervix fails to dilate (open) after several hours of strong contractions, or if the baby’s head cannot fit through the birth canal, a natural labor cannot progress.
  • The fetal heart rate indicates distress during labor.
  • The baby is not getting sufficient oxygen. Lack of oxygen, even for just a few minutes, can cause permanent brain damage.
  • The placenta begins to detach from the uterus prior to labor (placental abruption).
  • The placenta covers the opening of the mother’s cervix (placenta previa).
  • Umbilical cord problems occur. This can include situations where the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck, is compressed by the uterus or is delivered through the cervix before the baby.

Essentially, in any situation where a fetus or mother is in distress, an emergency Caesarean section should be ordered.

Doctor Negligence Can Lead to a Delayed C-Section

Doctors must assess a mother’s condition prior to birth and carefully monitor both mother and child during birth to determine if a Caesarean section is required.

Unfortunately, doctors sometimes fail to keep a mother or child safe by ordering a timely C-section. There are many reasons why a doctor might fail to order a Caesarean section in time to prevent health complications. For example, a doctor may negligently fail to order a C-section because:

  • The hospital has insurance concerns.
  • The doctor misses symptoms of health problems in the mother or baby.
  • The doctor doesn’t properly monitor a baby or mother for signs of distress.
  • The doctor fails to detect warning signs that mother or baby are in distress.
  • The hospital is understaffed.

In any situation where a reasonably competent doctor would have ordered a C-section and your doctor did not, then the doctor may be considered to have committed medical malpractice. A lawsuit can result to cover the costs of injury and loss.

Birth Injuries Due to a Delayed C-Section

A delay in ordering or performing a C-section can be dangerous to a mother and to a child. Some possible birth injuries and consequences of a delayed Caesarean include:

  • Death of the mother or the child
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Shoulder dystocia.

These are just some of the complications that can occur as a result of a doctor’s delaying a Caesarean section.

Contact a Chicago Delayed C-Section / Birth Injury Lawyer Today

If your doctor negligently failed to perform a Caesarean despite fetal or maternal distress, your doctor may be liable for medical malpractice. A Chicago delayed C-section lawyer can help you to take legal action and prove your doctor hurt you.

At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we have extensive experience with birth injury claims, including those involving families whose live were changed by a delayed Caesarean. To learn how our Illinois delayed C-section attorneys can help, give us a call today at our toll-free number or contact us using our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. You will not pay for our legal services unless we obtain compensation for you and your family.

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