Can a Caesarean Section Cause a Birth Injury?

A Caesarean section, often referred to as a C-section, is a common procedure that expecting mothers undergo when difficulties or dangerous risks with childbirth are anticipated. More than 32% of deliveries in U.S. hospitals in 2010 were C-sections. However, though a physician may perform a C-section in order to reduce the risk of physical harm to the mother or baby, it does not eliminate the risk altogether. In fact, there are a number of birth injuries that may occur, though many of them are avoidable. The risk of medical malpractice is very real. If your child was harmed or fatally injured in this way, consult our birth injury lawyer to learn if you have grounds for a civil lawsuit against the physician.

Why are C-sections performed?

As mentioned, the procedure is performed when the pregnant mother’s physician determines that a delivery through the birth canal may be too risky for the child or mother because of a complication. Here are some of the most common reasons for why a C-section may be performed:

  • Prolapse of the umbilical cord
  •  Placental complications such as an insufficiency or an abruption, or a placenta previa
  •  Preeclampsia
  •  Uterine rupture
  •  Fetal distress
  •  Active genital herpes
  •  When the unborn babies are twins or multiples
  •  After the baby has been diagnosed with a birth defect
  •  When the mother has had a previous C-section
  • When the mother has diabetes
  • There has not been any progress during the labor
  • The baby is in the breech position, putting it at risk to be delivered normally

Birth Injuries and Risks Associated with C-Sections

Some birth injuries are not preventable, but for those that are, the family may have legal recourse against the physician or any other party responsible. A birth injury lawyer from our firm can review your case to determine if the birth injury may have been preventable. These are some of the most common types of medical errors and acts of negligence:

Long Term Health Conditions Including Respiratory Distress Syndrome

If a baby is delivered by C-section, they are at higher risk for developing some type of breathing problem. After a child is delivered in this way, the parents should closely monitor their child’s health and at the earliest onset of symptoms should seek medical care for early treatment.

Fetal Distress Due to a Delayed C-Section Procedure

When a physician fails to perform a C-section in a timely manner, fetal distress and other issues can result. As a birth injury lawyer may tell you, if a physician fails to respond to obvious fetal distress symptoms as exhibited by the mother and does not respond by scheduling and performing the C-section, the child may suffer and possibly die as a result. Additional concerns include:

  • Physical development delays of the child after birth.
  • Increased risk of physical injuries to the child during and after birth.
  • The child may suffer from a lack of sufficient oxygen which can lead to cerebral palsy, autism, or infant brain damage.