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The unplanned c-section: know when surgery is necessary

In the United States, prenatal care has become a huge part of the pregnancy process. From special vitamins to regular checkups with a woman's doctor, prenatal care is designed to diagnose and prevent potentially serious health problems from developing and causing harm to the mother and/or child. In some cases, doctors may even discuss the option of performing a cesarean section as a way to increase a child's survival and to decrease injuries.

But as we all know, some c-sections are completely unplanned. In a majority of cases, unplanned c-sections occur because hospital staff notice that the infant is in distress or that the mother could suffer serious injuries during birth if a c-section isn't performed. Recognizing these warning signs might not be easy for the average mother but they are things that medical professionals should be able to spot immediately, causing them to act immediately in the mother and the child's best interests.

For our Covington readers' information, some warning signs may include, but are not limited to:

  • The child's size is too large for traditional delivery
  • Slowed or stopped labor contractions
  • Change in heart rate that can indicate fetal distress
  • Child has become entangled in the umbilical cord

Here in Kentucky, as is the case in other states too, mothers have an expectation that they and their child will be taken care of by the delivering hospital and its staff. When attention isn't paid to the mother and child's needs, mistakes can occur -- mistakes that oftentimes have devastating and life-long consequences.

It's important to know though that when medical errors occur, hospitals and their staff can be held liable through civil litigation. Know though that filing a medical malpractice claim is no easy task, which is why you may want to talk to an experienced attorney first before starting down the road to compensation.

Source:  WebMD, "Topic Overview: Cesarean Sections," Accessed June 17, 2015

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