In certain circumstances, a woman and her doctor may decide to deliver the baby through a C-section, which is a surgical procedure in which the doctor makes incisions through the abdomen and uterus to deliver the baby. C-sections are typically performed when there are complications that would make a normal delivery difficult or dangerous for the baby or mother. Though C-sections are typically used as a safe alternative to traditional delivery, there are injuries that can occur from a C-section procedure. Understanding the risks of a C-section is necessary in order to understand C section injury causes.
Delayed Decision to Perform a C-section
Perhaps the most important and most common of C section injury causes is the doctor’s failure to quickly decide to do a C-section. Taking too long to decide to do a C-section or taking too long to recognize that a C-section is necessary can result in serious injuries to the baby.
When a doctor is performing a delivery, there are certain complications that can make traditional delivery impossible or dangerous. These complications are related to the size of the baby, the size of the pelvis, the age of the baby, and the positioning of the baby in the uterus. At the same time, the longer a delivery takes, the more pressure is put on the baby’s body and the greater risk of injury, so it’s very important that a doctor quickly determines if a traditional birth is possible or if a C-section is necessary.
If the doctor does not recognize the complications early enough or does not make the decision to perform a C-section early enough, the baby could suffer physical injuries as well as oxygen deprivation. Oxygen deprivation is a very serious risk and can cause lasting damage to a child’s brain. It can occur if the baby is too large and too much pressure is being put on its umbilical cord or its head. Even if the C-section is performed perfectly, if the doctor took too long to perform it, the baby may have already suffered serious injuries.
Just like with a traditional birth, premature delivery can also be the cause of injuries during a C-section. The younger a baby is, the greater the chance is that they are not fully developed. The lungs are one of the last organs for a baby to develop, and if a baby is delivered before his or her lungs are strong enough, the baby will have serious problems breathing problems and could suffer devastating injuries due to oxygen deprivation.
Additionally, younger babies are smaller and more fragile. When a baby is delivered prematurely with a C-section, it is at greater risk of suffering physical injuries such as bruises and fractures. Of all C section injury causes, premature delivery should not be underestimated.
Malpractice During C-Section
While many C section injury causes are at least partly a result of the baby’s health and development, malpractice is a cause that is only influenced by the doctor and medical staff. Although almost one third of births in America are done through C-section, mistakes are still made from time-to-time, and these examples of malpractice can have serious effects on a baby or a mother.
Doctors who are performing C-sections may cut or nick the baby during the procedure, cause fractures or soft tissue injuries to the baby, or may not properly guard against infection in the mother’s abdomen. Some of these injuries are immediately noticeable, but others may not emerge until several days after a procedure, and it can then be difficult to determine C section injury causes. It’s also important to remember that both failure to perform a C-section in a timely manner and failure to recognize that a C-section is necessary are examples of medical malpractice.