Emergency C-Sections, VBAC, and Risks to the Baby

by Bruce Fagel on Feb. 11, 2013

Accident & Injury Medical Malpractice Accident & Injury  Personal Injury Accident & Injury  Wrongful Death 

Summary: A C-Section is often the safest way to deliver a healthy baby when there are serious childbirth complications. This article discusses conditions whereby a C-Section may be necessary.

When a doctor discovers that a baby may be injured during a natural vaginal delivery, he or she must consider other options, including a cesarean section or C-section.  A C-section is a surgical procedure where incisions are made through the mother’s abdomen and uterus to deliver a baby.  A cesarean section birth is often the safest way to deliver a healthy baby when there are serious childbirth complications.  If a doctor fails to provide a C-section if necessary, fails to perform the C-section safely, or fails to initiate the C-section within the proper amount of time, and the baby is seriously injured, the family may have a medical malpractice claim.

An emergency C-Section may be required under the following conditions:
  • The baby is too large for a vaginal delivery
  • Breech position
  • The fetus has developed abnormally or there is an abnormal heart rate in the fetus
  • Premature delivery whereby the infant can’t withstand the pressure of a vaginal delivery
  • There are problems with the umbilical cord or placenta
  • The mother is delivering multiple babies
  • Uterine rupture
C-Sections do carry risk of injury to the mother including heavy blood loss, infection of the incision, infection of the uterus, blood clots, anesthesia problems, heart problems, and lung problems.  The baby can also receive injuries from a C-Section delivery as well and if delivered too prematurely, may encounter problems such as the lungs not fully maturing.

One option for a woman who had a previous cesarean section is to deliver the next baby vaginally.  This is called VBAC or vaginal birth after cesarean. Between 60 to 80 percent of women who have had a cesarean section can deliver their next baby VBAC.  Although this is generally a safe procedure, there are a small percentage of women who will experience a rupturing of the uterus from the VBAC, and the dangers to the infant can be serious, even deadly.

Women who are considering VBAC should research hospitals that are able to provide prompt VBAC deliveries.  When researching hospitals, expected mothers considering VBAC should make sure the hospital has the ability to deliver the baby in less than ten minutes should their uterus rupture; otherwise the baby can be in extreme danger of experiencing permanent brain damage or death.  Expected mothers should also make sure the hospital has 24 hour a day anesthesiologists and obstetricians on staff.  If the fetal heart rate monitor detects a sudden abnormal heart rate, it will be critical for the hospital to have the necessary medical staff available to handle the emergency.  

If you or a family member experienced a birth injury from medical negligence, call the Law Offices of Dr. Bruce G. Fagel & Associates right away for a free consultation.  Dr. Bruce Fagel is a leading medical malpractice lawyer and a licensed medical doctor.  He understands exactly how the birth process should occur and where medical negligence happened that resulted in the birth injury.

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