Birth Injury: Failing to Perform a C-Section in a Timely Manner

More than 30 percent of children born in the U.S. every year are born via cesarean deliveries, also known as C-sections. The most common reason for a cesarean section is labor dystocia, or labor that isn’t progressing. If labor isn’t progressing along well, the mother and baby may be at risk for long-term consequences and even death.

Labor is broken down into phases in the medical community, with the first phase being dilation and opening of the cervix. The second phase is after complete cervical dilation and the mother is pushing.

During both of these phases, the medical professionals and doctors should be taking measures if labor isn’t progressing effectively to protect the health of the child and mother. If you or a loved one was injured during birth because a doctor failed to perform a C-section in time, contact the birth injury attorneys at Pope and Howard today: (404) 885-9999.

Signs that Labor Isn’t Progressing and May Require a C-Section

Healthy labor will go through both stages of labor (dilation and pushing), resulting in a happy union between the mother and child. However, labor doesn’t always go according to plan.

Doctors and medical professionals should regularly monitor both the fetus and the mother to ensure they stay healthy and that labor is normally progressing.

During this regular monitoring, there can be several signs that would signal a doctor to either do further tests or call for a C-section, including:

  • Baby in distress. If the fetal heart rate drops or has alarming changes, a C-section may be needed to get the baby born as quickly as possible.
  • Placenta issues. Placentas can sometimes detach early, which could cause excessive bleeding in the mother, or can block the cervix, making labor incredibly painful and blocking the birth canal.
  • Multiple births. If a woman has a high-risk pregnancy because of multiples, a C-section will sometimes be ordered before labor, especially if one of the babies is not in a head-down position.
  • Breech or transverse position. Babies that are in the incorrect birth position, either feet or buttocks first (breech) or side or shoulder first (transverse), may require a C-section delivery to protect the fetus and the mother.
  • Prolapsed cord. A prolapsed umbilical cord occurs when a part of the cord goes through the cervix ahead of the baby. If the doctor sees this condition, a c-section would be required.
  • Preeclampsia. If the mother’s blood pressure rises to an unsafe level, the doctor may order a C-section to help reduce her blood pressure and protect the patient and baby.
  • Blockage. If the mother has fibroids or a pelvic fracture, or the baby has an unusually large head due to hydrocephalus or another genetic condition, a C-section might be called for to get the baby out quickly.
  • Previous C-section. While not always the case, many doctors will plan for a C-section if the mother has had a previous c-section because a vaginal birth could rupture the previous uterine surgical scar.

Seek Compensation for Birth Injuries with the Leading Atlanta Med Mal Lawyers

If you or a loved one suffered harm or loss due to a doctor’s failure to perform a C-section in a timely manner, we can help you seek compensation for damages. Birth should be a time of celebration, not a traumatic experience. Give us a call today at (404) 885-9999 if you think you have a medical malpractice case in Atlanta or the state of Georgia.

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