Delayed Cesarean Section in Pennsylvania
Cesarean sections have their roots in tragedy. Once seen as an extreme measure, they were originally performed only when the mother was considered to be beyond help or had died in childbirth. As medicine advanced, they became more commonplace and today account for approximately 32 percent of all U.S. deliveries. There are many reasons for having a C-section, but when an emergency arises, it’s important to not delay. When time is critical, hesitation can lead to serious birth injuries or even fatalities.
The Philadelphia delayed C-section malpractice attorneys at Wapner Newman know how devastating a birth injury can be for affected families. Working with a skilled team of legal and medical professionals, we will seek to determine if medical negligence was responsible and we will fight to ensure your family receives the maximum possible amount of compensation. For almost 40 years, we have been the trusted advocates for countless personal injury victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We offer risk-free consultations and work on a contingency basis, which means that we do not require you to pay any fees until we have secured a recovery on your behalf. We encourage you to call us today at 1-800-LAW-6600 or fill out this free case evaluation form.
Delivering a fetus by cesarean section is a surgical procedure involving cuts in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. The incisions are typically closed with stitches and recovery tends to take longer than a vaginal delivery. Reasons for a cesarean delivery include:
- Multiple fetuses. Carrying more than one fetus may cause preterm labor.
- Large fetus. C-sections can prevent certain complications presented by vaginal deliveries.
- Fetus is in breech. Positioned feet-first or bottom-first rather than head-first.
- Labor not progressing normally. An abnormally dilated cervix commonly requires intervention.
- Mother has an infection. C-sections can help prevent transmission.
- Uterine rupture. When the uterus tears, it can bring about hemorrhaging and a lack of oxygen.
- Fetal distress. This is when the fetus’s heart rate drops too low or stays too low for a long time. Also known as bradycardia and measured at less than 60 beats per minute.
- Umbilical cord prolapse. When the umbilical cord is delivered first, blood flow to the fetus can be cut off.
- Problems with the placenta. Common issues involve placentas that are malformed, not working correctly, located in the wrong place in the uterus, or implanted too deeply or too tightly in the uterine wall.
A doctor should recognize when a dangerous fetal or maternal health issue is present that may require a C-section. Once it is identified as necessary, a C-section should generally be done in 30 minutes or less. If it takes longer than that to perform the procedure or if a labor is unreasonably delayed, the risk of birth injury increases and can lead to serious conditions such as cerebral palsy, brachial palsy, brain damage, and paralysis. In some cases, intellectual and developmental disabilities stemming from lack of oxygen at birth may not be obvious until years later, but that doesn’t mean those responsible for a preventable birth injury can’t be held accountable. For some emergency situations such as slow fetal heart rate, cord prolapse, or uterine rupture, 30 minutes is too long to wait.
Whether a healthcare professional failed to spot signs of fetal distress, a doctor failed to promptly order or conduct a cesarean section, or a medical facility was not prepared to handle the procedure in an adequate or timely fashion, you have the right to hold all liable parties responsible for your child’s birth injuries.
When an error by a negligent healthcare professional causes injury, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed to seek financial compensation for past and future medical expenses, loss of potential income, disability, pain and suffering, and more.
When a woman is in labor, every medical professional on staff has a duty to closely monitor the progress of the delivery for potential problems. Sometimes, emergency decisions must be made to prevent injury, and certain failures by healthcare workers rise to the level of medical negligence. Delays in diagnosing the need for a cesarean section or in performing one once the decision is made increase the possibility of the child having severe physical, mental, or learning disabilities.
If your newborn was delivered by C-section and suffered a birth injury, it may have been the result of pediatric medical malpractice. These types of negligence cases are extremely complex to investigate and to prove, which is why it’s crucial to contact an attorney. Even if you only suspect that the injury was preventable, the negligent C-section attorneys at Wapner Newman can review the circumstances and determine whether you may be eligible for financial damages. We have the resources and experience to fight for you. Get started with a free, no-obligation case review by calling us at 1-800-LAW-6600 or filling out this online form. We represent clients in or around Philadelphia, Allentown, and West Conshohocken, as well as communities throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.