If a botched c-section injures a mother or her baby, the victim might be able to recover damages by filing a malpractice claim against the doctors, nurses, and the hospital where the surgery was performed. C-section injuries can have lifelong consequences for mother and child. Doctors have a duty of care to their patients to inform them of the risks and to adhere to established safety procedures to reduce the dangers.
C-Sections in America
There are more than 1.2 million c-section procedures performed in the United States each year. These procedures are generally performed when the life of the mother or child is at risk. While most c-sections are planned, a significant number are emergency procedures performed with little to no planning. Conditions that can lead to an emergency c-section recommendation include fetal distress, placenta previa or abruption, or other pregnancy complications.
Physicians might also recommend a c-section procedure due to infections the baby could contract during vaginal delivery, if the woman is obese, or if the baby is significantly large. Other reasons include multiple deliveries, high blood pressure, or if labor is not progressing as required. C-section may also be advisable when the placenta is low-lying or it is blocking the birth canal. Physicians are required to thoroughly assess the woman’s health and determine the risks associated with performing a c-section.
Risk for Babies & Mothers
A botched c-section can result in infant death. It can cause severe breathing problems, the development of asthma, or irreparable brain damage. Problems can be caused by improper administration of anesthetic, failure to adhere to established sterilization procedures, improper training, or surgical errors.
The procedure can cause a pulmonary embolism or excessive bleeding in the mother. It can allow potentially fatal infections to take hold and result in significant pain. C-sections also leave permanent scars and can result in the need to perform an emergency hysterectomy. Recovery from a botched c-section can take significant time during which the woman will be unable to work which could reduce her income.
Pursuing Compensation for Damages
Women who have suffered serious injury from a botched c-section should thoroughly document their injuries. Photographs, medical records, eyewitness statements, and other documents can establish the extent of the injury and the impact it has on the individual’s health and quality of life.