Failure to Perform or Delayed C-section
Having a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a person’s life. It can also be extremely stressful through no fault of a parent’s own. When problems occur during labor, medical staff must act quickly and use their best judgment to protect the life of the mother and child. When they fail to act, the results can be tragic.
Attorney Lynn C. Harris has helped numerous Salt Lake City, UT clients with medical malpractice cases involving birth injury and mistakes. One of these mistakes is failing to perform a cesarean section (C-section). Let’s consider why C-sections are necessary and what happens when they are delayed or botched.
Reasons to Perform a C-Section
During the delivery of a baby, it may be best to perform a C-section rather than continuing with a natural birth. Common reasons for an emergency C-section include:
- Fetal Distress - Fetal distress refers to a drop in an infant’s heart rate. This could indicate oxygen deprivation or other serious health problems.
- Lengthy or Difficult Labor - If a mother has spent a long time in labor or has issues with contractions and the ability to push, a C-section will help ensure a child can be born safely and the mother’s health is not put ion jeopardy.
- Placenta Previa - If the placenta is low in the uterus, it could potentially block the cervix, making it difficult for a child to be born.
- Uterine Rupture - In some childbirths, a woman’s uterus tears. A C-section allows the baby to be born safely and for the mother’s health issues to be addresses in a timely fashion.
- Cord Prolapse - If the umbilical cord leaves the birth canal before the baby, this could result in oxygen deprivation and lasting harm to the brain.
When looking over your birth injury case, our Salt Lake City law firm will note if any of these conditions were present during the delivery of a child.
The Timeframe to Perform Emergency C-Sections
In order to prevent serious harm to a mother or her child, it’s important that doctors act quickly. Ideally, a C-section should be completed within 30 minutes once the procedure becomes necessary.
Why Delayed C-Sections Must Also Be Taken Seriously
A lot can happen in 30 minutes, especially when it comes to the health of a newborn. Oxygen deprivation as an infant leaves the birth canal can cause lasting brain injuries that affect mental and physical development. For mothers, an emergency C-section can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.
Delays in the process put children and mothers at risk. The medical staff delivering a child must realize this, and should be held accountable when delays on their part result in harm.
Holding Medical Staff and OB/GYNs Accountable
If an infant survives oxygen deprivation, they may have numerous challenges ahead of them. These challenges might have been prevented had medical staff acted sooner in performing a C-section, especially when the warning signs were there.
Given the high stakes of emergency C-sections during delivery, it’s crucial that medical staff be held liable for mistakes. When Our Salt Lake City law firm can help seek damages that address the harm sustained to mother and child, including the long-term repercussions of these doctor errors.
Speak with a Medical Injury Attorney
For more information about your legal options following mistakes in the delivery room or during neonatal care, contact a skilled medical malpractice attorney. Lynn C. Harris can be reached by phone at (801) 521-3200.