Was Medical Negligence Involved In Your C-Section?

Posted on: 15 January 2016

Cesarean-sections are related to a range of maternal and infant injuries, and if you or your child was injured during a c-section, you may have a medical negligence suit on your hands. Here are five signs you may want to explore the issue with a medical malpractice attorney:

1. You or your child experienced an injury.

C-sections have been linked to infections, hemorrhages, organ injury and scar tissue, and in some cases, scar tissue can prevent some women from ever bearing children again. For babies, the procedure can be linked to premature birth weight, breathing issues and incision injuries.

In order to prove medical negligence, you will need to prove that you or your baby was injured as a result of the c-section. If you were not injured, you need to have significant mental distress from the procedure, and in either case, you and your attorney will need to be able to prove that someone was at fault. However, the person or entity at fault may vary depending on your situation.

2. The surgeon was negligent during the c-section.

In order to prove surgical negligence, you need to consider the state of the surgeon operating on you. Did he or she make a mistake due to lack of sleep or ingesting alcohol or drugs? Were there unnecessary distractions in the room?

Issues like these indicate negligence and make it more likely that you can bring a successful malpractice suit against the surgeon.

3. Your doctor scheduled the c-section too early.

However, the negligent party doesn't necessarily even have to be in the operating room. In some cases, you may have an ob-gyn who sees you regularly and recommends the c-section, but then, another doctor may perform the procedure.

If a c-section is performed before the baby is full term, the baby may be premature. Premature babies haven't had ample time to develop their respiratory system and often have trouble breathing. In addition, their relatively low birth weight can be linked to failure to thrive.

Being born premature can be linked to long term health issues related to physical development, learning, communicating and self care as well as behavioral issues. If your baby was born premature as the result of an excessively early c-section date set by your physician, he or she may be liable for your child's damages and possibly long-term care costs.

In particular, your doctor may have been negligent if he or she calculated your due date incorrectly and scheduled the procedure based on that miscalculation.

4. You were incorrectly prescribed medication.

During a c-section, most mothers have a general anesthesia, and you may also be prescribed medication during the healing process. However, in some cases, there can be adverse reactions to medications.

If your physician failed to consult your chart and prescribed a medication that you were allergic to or that contradicted other medications you take, he or she may be liable for your reaction. Similarly, if you were given the wrong dose by another healthcare provider or the wrong type of medication from the pharmacist, he or she may be liable.

5. Your c-section wasn't medically necessary.

In many cases, physicians recommend c-sections when women are several weeks or even months from their due dates. Traditionally, the procedure has been employed to avoid complications related to vaginal births, but more and more research is showing that taking this risk is not necessary.

If you believe your c-section wasn't necessary, you need to probe the reasons it was recommended and explore other alternatives that could have been taken. For example, imagine you were advised to have a c-section because your baby was breech, and your doctor failed to investigate other alternatives such as eternal versions, chiropractic adjustments using the Webster technique or even just natural birth.

By failing to provide you with less invasive options, your doctor may have been negligent. Similarly, if your doctor was not keeping up with medical trends, you also may be able to bring a successful case against him. In particular, new research shows that allowing a woman to start natural or induced labor before the c-section increases the rates of having either a safe natural birth or a safe emergency c-section.

For more guidance on whether medical negligence was involved in your c-section injury, contact a medical malpractice attorney.