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Delayed c-section during labor can increase risk of a bad outcome

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2019 | Birth Injuries, Medical Malpractice

Pregnancy and labor are unique for each woman who goes through them. Some women have terrible morning sickness and others never once throw up. Some women, even first-time mothers, have only a few contractions before the birth of their child, while others may have to struggle through many hours or even days of labor before the birth of their child.

Those hoping to have a natural, vaginal birth may want to put off a c-section birth as long as possible. However, doctors will often become insistent if medical issues present themselves. Unfortunately, some doctors don’t make the right call when the time comes to recommend a c-section.

Whether the doctor simply doesn’t perform adequate monitoring or the hospital doesn’t have a surgeon on staff available to perform a timely emergency C-section, a delay in the surgery could have catastrophic consequences for the expectant mother and her unborn child. Substantial delays in medical care can sometimes be grounds for medical malpractice claims in the future.

Doctors should know that surgical delay imperils the infant

Some medical research is so fresh that medical professionals may not have had a chance to learn it yet. However, other research is so well ingrained in medical science that doctors have no excuse for claiming ignorance on the issue. When it comes to the importance of timely intervention for a c-section, the risks have been known for decades.

Research published as far back as 1990 has shown that delays of more than thirty minutes for a c-section delivery can increase the risk of infant injury by as much as 50%. Research since then has only corroborated the risks of delayed c-sections. Even in the event that both mother and child survived a drastically delayed c-section, the risk for birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy, increases as time marches on.

Given that surgical set-up takes time, doctors need to be ready to move quickly when symptoms of fetal distress present during labor. Medical knowledge is so straightforward that many doctors will begin to rush women into surgery as soon as they witness any sign of problems during the delivery such as meconium in the amniotic fluid or changes in fetal heart rate.

Birth injuries will affect your family for many years

The consequences of the mistakes made by a physician during your labor won’t affect them nearly as much as it will you and your family. From the increased cost of medical care to difficulties balancing a career with the care the child needs, many problems stem from preventable birth injuries.

Discussing your birth with an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you understand your options and rights. A claim can help you cover the costs of care and improve your family’s situation after a birth injury.