When Is A C-Section Necessary?
C-sections may be planned in advance or ordered in emergency situations. There are several scenarios in which a c-section becomes medically necessary. Broadly speaking, they become necessary because of complications either in pregnancy or during labor.
Your doctor should be regularly evaluating you and your developing child throughout your pregnancy. If any of the following conditions apply, a c-section may be necessary.
The placenta transfers nutrients and oxygen to the fetus through the umbilical cord. Placental abruption occurs when the placenta detaches from the wall of the uterus before birth. This can cause the developing infant to be deprived of the oxygen and nutrients needed for a healthy birth, which increases the risk of brain damage and other birth injuries.
Maternal Medical Conditions
Medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure may impair the transfer of nutrients and oxygen between the placenta and uterus. These conditions increase the risk of complications in vaginal births.
Serious infections such as strep, hepatitis, or HIV could be transferred from mother to child through the placenta. C-sections help to reduce this risk.
C-sections are often safer for women carrying two or more fetuses. In many multiple pregnancies, labor begins too early or the babies are positioned in awkward positions in the uterus. Cesarean births may reduce complications in these scenarios.
Certain conditions may arise during the labor process which make an emergency c-section necessary.
Abnormally Large Baby
Large babies will be more difficult to deliver via vaginal birth. Attempting to force a very large baby through the birth canal can result in serious birth injuries. A c-section is a much safer option.
Breech And Transverse Births
Delivering a baby head-first is the safest method of vaginal birth. But sometimes the baby is positioned with his feet facing the vaginal opening, or lying sideways in the uterus. Attempting to deliver these babies vaginally often results in fetal injuries.
Delayed Or Stopped Labor
Sometimes the labor process becomes too slow or stops completely. In these cases, the birth canal may not open wide enough to allow for vaginal birth.
The baby may experience certain health problems after labor has begun. For example, the umbilical cord could become prolapsed or wrapped around the baby's neck. An abnormal heart rate is also a serious problem which could necessitate a cesarean section.
Victims of medical negligence and malpractice have rights. If you believe a delayed c-section is responsible for your child's injuries, an experienced birth injury legal team could help you secure the financial compensation your family needs.
Vaccaro v. Scranton Quincy Hospital
In December 2012, a Northeastern Pennsylvania woman named Marissa Vacarro was admitted to the labor unit at Scranton Quincy hospital. Upon examination, obstetrician Dr. Raymond C. DeCesare discovered a severe placental abruption. He determined that an emergency c-section was necessary in order to prevent hypoxic brain injury. However, it took 84 minutes before the procedure was performed.
The child, Emma Vaccaro was born "profoundly hypoxic" and with severe brain damage. She also suffered from visual impairment, seizures, and renal failure. Vaccaro filed a medical malpractice suit against the hospital and DeCesare, alleging that the delayed c-section caused her child's injuries. In January 2017, a settlement was reached for over $19 million.
Types of Compensation
If medical malpractice contributed to permanent injuries or wrongful death in your pregnancy, you are eligible to receive full compensation for damages. If you have a solid case, you may be awarded compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
The right legal team will have contacts with medical experts who can help analyze your case. Be aware that there is a 2-year statute of limitations in PA for medical malpractice lawsuits. If you suspect that your child's injuries were preventable, don't hesitate to contact an attorney.