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How Common Is C-Section Malpractice?

How Common Is C-Section Malpractice?

During the birthing process, there could be times when medical intervention is necessary.

When the lives of the mother or the unborn child are at risk, the doctor may elect to perform a C-section. Most of the time, these procedures are performed without any complications. However, if errors or injuries occur, the doctor and their medical team could be liable for a medical malpractice claim.

How common is C-section malpractice? Let’s explore this pressing topic.

Medical Malpractice and Cesarean Deliveries

As you may already know, when a healthcare provider fails to meet the standard of care, resulting in harm to the patient, that is known as medical malpractice. A C-section, which is short for a cesarean section, is often an emergency surgical procedure.

In these cases, the medical team must deliver the unborn child through an incision made in the mother’s abdomen and uterine wall. In most cases, it is performed when medically necessary to protect the health of the mother and child.

While C-sections can be lifesaving in certain circumstances, they are not without risks. Like any major surgery, the mother and baby could experience:

  • Severe bleeding
  • Internal organ damage
  • Infection

Unfortunately, these complications can pose a serious threat to the health of the unborn child and the mother. When errors are made, doctors and other healthcare providers can be held liable for their actions.

The Basis for These Medical Malpractice Claims

When the doctor or other medical staff members make mistakes during this surgery, it can lead to a C-section malpractice lawsuit. Let’s explore the common scenarios that may give rise to such lawsuits:

Failure to Perform a C-Section When Medically Necessary

When a woman goes into labor, there are often a few indicators that a C-section is necessary.

Fetal distress, an irregular heartbeat, or umbilical cord entanglement are signs that the delivery team needs to act quickly to save the mother’s and baby’s lives. When the doctor or nurses fail to recognize these signs, which can delay performing a C-section, it may be the basis for a medical malpractice claim.

These medical professionals have a duty to monitor their patient’s health throughout the labor process. If they neglect to do this, that is a breach of duty that often causes harm to the unborn baby.

Improperly Performed C-Sections

There are risks associated with any surgical procedure, but you trust that the medical staff is competent enough to perform the procedure without causing undue harm. In some situations, the doctor can make errors, such as improper incisions or damage to internal organs.

These mistakes can result in injury to the mother or child. Any trained medical professional who errs during a C-section may have committed medical malpractice.

Unnecessary Procedures

Unnecessary C-sections have become a growing concern in the medical industry. Many of these cases have ended up in the courtroom. While these procedures can be a necessary and life-saving option in certain medical situations, performing a C-section without a valid medical reason may result in injury to the patient.

Before surgery takes place, all patients need to know about the risks and benefits of the procedure. If the medical staff acted without consent or for a medical reason, that could be grounds for a medical malpractice case.

Keep in mind that not every complication during a C-section automatically leads to a lawsuit. Negligence or recklessness must be proven for a valid claim. If you believe you’ve suffered harm due to C-section malpractice, you will want to reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer to assess your situation.

How Often Do These Cases Result in Lawsuits?

While no statistics outline the frequency of these claims going to court, C-sections are the most common type of surgery performed in the United States. As of 2022, there were over a million C-sections performed in a single year. Of all the live births in 2022 in Pennsylvania, about 30.8% were delivered by C-section.

However, there have been notable cases in the past year. Some victims have sued hospitals and doctors for millions of dollars due to the complications arising from C-sections. Recently, in Maryland, a jury awarded $34 million in damages to a family whose child suffered brain damage as a result of an emergency C-section.

If a complication arises during the delivery or the mother’s health is at risk, then a C-section may be the correct course of action. When you choose this surgery, you expect the highest level of care.

Unfortunately, improper procedures and failing to recognize the signs of distress can all lead to injury to the mother and baby.

If you believe you’ve suffered harm due to C-section malpractice, it may be time to discuss your case with a skilled medical malpractice lawyer at Shrager, Sachs, & Blanco.

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