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C-Section Mistakes: When Do They Warrant a Lawsuit?

Woman holding newborn baby

C-Section deliveries, or Cesarean sections, have served as life-saving tools for several families facing a variety of challenging childbirth scenarios. If a baby is in a hazardous position during the childbirth phase, if the umbilical cord is stuck, or if the mother has certain preexisting health conditions, C-Sections can help both mother and baby through a safer, more controlled delivery process. However, if a doctor makes a mistake during the C-Section process, or if a medical professional fails to order an emergency C-Section, the resulting damage can be painful, if not life-threatening.

If you or your child were victims of C-Section mistakes, you may be eligible to file a birth injury or medical malpractice lawsuit against the negligent party. But, before you take legal action, you must determine whether or not your situation qualifies as medical malpractice.

When Are C-Section Errors Considered Medical Malpractice?

Childbirth isn’t without its risks, which means some health crises that occur during the delivery process could be unforeseeable and unpreventable. However, if your birth injury occurs because of someone’s mistake or negligence, you may have a medical malpractice case.

When dealing with birth injury cases involving Cesarean sections, it’s important to consider whether the injury occurred because of an unpreventable complication or an act of negligence.

For a case to qualify as medical malpractice, all of the following must be true:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed between the injured party and the defendant.
  • The defendant was negligent or breached their duty of care.
  • The defendant’s actions harmed the mother or child.
  • The defendant’s actions caused tangible harm.

If each of the above-mentioned criteria are met, you should be eligible to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. Negligent parties may include hospitals, doctors, nurses, midwives, birthing centers, and other medical professionals responsible for the expectant mother or baby’s healthcare.

Understanding C-Section Errors

C-Section errors can include both planned and unplanned mishaps. Some C-Sections are anticipated in advance because the expectant mother or baby have preexisting medical problems or other complications. Likewise, C-Sections can also occur on an unplanned basis if a problem occurs during labor, such as prolonged labor, umbilical cord issues, low fetal heart rate, and so on.

Common types of C-Section Errors include:

  • Failure to anticipate planned C-Section
  • Failure to perform emergency C-Section
  • Failure to recognize prenatal indicators
  • Infant lacerations
  • Infection
  • Maternal organ lacerations
  • Nerve damage
  • Other surgical errors
  • Untimely C-Section

Doctors and other medical personal are required to provide a certain standard of care to their patients, and if they fail to provide the same level of care as another qualified professional, they could be liable for the resulting damage. In short, a doctor should be able to identify the signs that indicate a pregnant woman will need a planned, or emergency, C-Section. Likewise, a doctor who performs a C-Section should be able to do so without damaging the mother or baby’s nerves or organs. If the doctor is not qualified to perform a C-Section, they should recommend an appropriately qualified doctor to perform the surgery instead.

If you or your child was injured due to a botched or delayed C-Section, our firm is here to help. Contact Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli to get in touch with our experienced firm.

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