Consult an Experienced Cook County Birth Injury Lawyer When a Delayed C-Section Caused Your Baby Harm.
Medical malpractice is generally defined as “an act or omission by a doctor or any healthcare associate which deviates from the established standard of care in the medical community, where the patient is needlessly harmed.” If a medical professional’s negligence caused you or your baby to suffer an injury during your C-section, you may be able to file a claim against the doctor or other members of the surgical team, and possibly your maternity hospital. For a claim to be successful, however, your Cook County birth injury lawyer must meet certain legal requirements, known as burden of proof. They are:
- The doctor or medical professional owed you a high duty to perform your C-section according to very high standards of care and did not meet that duty.
- As a result of the deviation – or breach of duty – you or your baby was injured.
- That breach was the proximate cause of the injuries.
Cesarean sections can be planned or unplanned. The doctor may decide before delivery to perform a C-section for the safety of the mother or baby. During delivery, complications may require an emergency C-section, particularly if it is a delayed C-section. Typical reasons for planned C-sections:
- The mother has an infection and could transfer it to the baby during vaginal birth;
- She is in a weakened physical condition before delivery;
- She had a previous C-section, and normal delivery might tear her previous incision (known as a “uterine rupture”); and
- The mother is carrying multiple babies.
Common reasons for emergency C-sections:
- Labor is extremely delayed;
- Baby or mother show signs of physical distress;
- The umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck; and
- The baby is too large for vaginal delivery.
Negligent or Improper Cesarean Section Birth Injuries
- Lacerations and cuts: In rare cases, lacerations may be severe enough to require stitches, cause disfigurement, or in extreme instances, damage internal organs.
- Oxygen-related injuries: Most C-section injuries occur to a baby when it delayed and the infant’s oxygen supply is threatened, which means a quick C-section must be performed. Lack of oxygen during delivery can cause developmental delays or even hypoxia-induced cerebral palsy.
- Other premature birth injuries can occur if the child’s due date was miscalculated, and the child is delivered prematurely. Then the infant may have underdeveloped lungs or other injuries associated with being a “preemie.”
Mothers’ Injuries due to a Negligent C-section
The child is not the only one who can be harmed during a cesarean section; the mother may be injured in any of the following ways.
- Hemorrhage (excessive bleeding): When pregnant, a woman’s uterus can hold as much as one-third of her total blood flow. Uncontrolled bleeding must be anticipated by the doctor and surgical team, and medications must be administered to control uterine contractions and limit bleeding. Hemorrhaging during a C-section is a life-threatening emergency requiring quick action. Sometimes a hysterectomy must be performed to save the mother.
- Infection: All surgeries present a risk of post-op infection. If the area was not properly prepped and sterilized, antibiotics were not used or proper wound care was not given, post-surgical infection could be a sign of malpractice.
- Bladder or bowel injuries: Both organs are located close to the uterus, making them susceptible to collateral surgical damage if there is a mistake, or if the mother’s bladder is not properly catheterized.
- Anesthesia Injuries: Because a C-section is a surgical procedure, general or spinal anesthesia will be administered to the mother. Both carry risks, such as low blood pressure, placental abruption and umbilical cord prolapse (displacement).
C-section Complications Can Be Signs of Malpractice
The statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim in Illinois is generally two years from the date that the malpractice is discovered [§735 ILCS 5/12-901]. But some can be filed within four years, or longer depending on the facts of the case. If the victim is a minor, the statute can be even longer. If you or your baby suffered harm because of malpractice, you should consult an experienced Cook County birth injury attorney as soon as possible. Call 1-800-NOW-HURT.