Here’s what you need to know about botched C-sections


Babies are delivered one of two ways: either vaginally or via Cesarean delivery. Cesarean delivery (“C-section”) is a method used to deliver a baby through surgical incisions made in the abdomen and uterus. A botched C-section is when the healthcare provider is negligent in performing the procedure.

Why have a C-section?

There are many reasons a healthcare provider might recommend a C-section, such as: labor isn’t progressing normally; the baby is in distress; the baby is in an unsafe position; there’s a problem with the placenta; certain health concerns or medical issues the mother is experiencing; or there’s a blockage of the birth canal by, eg, a fibroid or the umbilical cord.

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What can go wrong in a C-section?

While C-sections are a common way to deliver a baby, there are risks associated with the procedure. Such risks can lead to a botched C-section. These include:

  Delayed delivery. Delivery delays can result in the baby being in a prolonged and unhealthy state of distress.

  Brachial plexus injury.  The brachial plexus is the network of nerves that send signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm, and hands. That part of the body can be injured when the nerves are stretched, compressed, or – in the most serious cases – ripped apart or torn away from the spinal cord.

Laceration of internal organs. The doctor cuts the mother’s bowels or another organ, causing infection and injury.

Broken bones. The doctor positions the baby wrong and breaks his/her bones when removing the baby from the uterus.

Uterine rupture. The uterus is torn and the baby and placenta can fall into the mother’s abdomen. This can cause the next complication: oxygen deprivation.

Oxygen deprivation. This occurs when the baby is denied sufficient levels of oxygen which is necessary for brain and body development.

Laceration of the baby. When a doctor improperly uses delivery tools, the baby’s skin can become cut and disfigured.

Improper wound closure. After surgery, the mother can develop an infection if the wound was not properly closed and disinfected.

Should I contact a birth injury lawyer for a botched C-section?

If you or your baby suffered an injury during C-section delivery, you should contact a birth injury attorney to discuss whether you have a medical malpractice claim.

In Pennsylvania, you can file a birth injury claim for the child up to two years after the child turns 18 (i.e., up until their 20th birthday). But you should never wait that long to consult an attorney. This is because your claim, as the parent, is only available for two years after you knew or should have known that your child’s birth injury was the medical professional’s fault. Another reason you should not delay contacting an attorney is because the closer you are in time to the actual date of delivery, the easier it is to gather all essential medical records and testimony.

If you underwent a botched C-section, do not hesitate to contact the specialized birth injury lawyers at VSCP Law.

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