Delays during cesarean section can put infants at serious risk of harm

On Behalf of | May 8, 2023 | Birth Injuries

Cesarean sections are a common way for Chicago mothers to give birth. They often are a safe alternative to vaginal delivery for a variety of reasons. However, a C-section is still major surgery. It requires close timing from the doctor to decide when it’s the right time to have a C-section and attentive performance from the surgeon and the rest of the operating team to ensure success.

Medical malpractice before or during a C-section can have profound consequences for the infant. Brain damage suffered during delivery can lead to cerebral palsy or other life-long disabling condition. They might never be able to live independently or earn sufficient income to support themselves. Their parents will need to find a way to afford things like wheelchairs, ramps for the home, extra medical care and more.

$35 million after botched C-section

This is why settlements and jury awards in birth injury cases can be quite high, often in the millions of dollars. In a recent local example, NorthShore Unversity HealthSystem settled a malpractice lawsuit related to errors during a cesarean section for $35 million. The doctor in that case delayed performing a C-section despite the mother being in a high-risk pregnancy with twins and other physicians indicating that the procedure was urgently needed. The procedure itself took much more time to deliver the second infant than is standard. That girl, now 7, is severely disabled and will need assistance for the rest of her life. She cannot walk, speak or chew on her own and suffers from painful muscle cramps.

A difficult (and expensive) path ahead

This is just one example of the consequences of poorly performed or necessarily delayed C-section. The child’s future could depend on a reasonable settlement or trial verdict against the doctor, hospital or other responsible parties. The cost of raising a profoundly disabled child can be millions of dollars higher than average.


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