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Medical Malpractice and Failure to Perform a C-section By Attorney Tom Foley III on June 02, 2022

newborn babyA cesarean, often referred to as a C-section, is a surgery that is performed to deliver a child. A C-section is often ordered when natural childbirth is not possible, or when complications arise during labor and delivery. When performed in a timely manner, a C-section can prevent birth injuries that may cause long-term symptoms.

Unfortunately, medical professionals may neglect to perform a C-section in a timely manner. If medical malpractice involving failure to perform a C-section results in injuries for mother or child, individuals in Scranton, Stroudsburg, and Wilkes-Barre, PA, can work with medical malpractice attorneys from Foley Law Firm to hold negligent medical professionals accountable for related damages. 

Signs that a C-section Is Needed

Throughout pregnancy and continuing on through labor and delivery, medical professionals are responsible for monitoring the well-being of mother and child. Among the many things that medical professionals should be observing is whether or not a mother is a suitable candidate for natural childbirth. The medical field has established standards that reasonable medical providers are expected to use to determine if a C-section is needed.

Some women exhibit signs during pregnancy that a C-section is the safest method of delivery. Conditions that may indicate a C-section should be scheduled in advance include:

  • Placenta previa
  • Placental abruption
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Fetus is not in the normal position

Even if a woman seems to be a good candidate for vaginal birth, complications can arise during labor and delivery. Medical professionals should be constantly monitoring the mother and fetus for any signs of distress. During labor, common signs that a C-section should be performed include:

  • Signs of fetal distress
  • Irregular heartbeat or blood pressure for the fetus
  • Fetus entangled in the umbilical cord
  • Prolonged labor or deliver

Birth Injuries Caused by Failure to Perform a C-section

Delaying or failing to perform a C-section can have serious consequences for the baby or mother. If a baby is too large to be birthed naturally and a C-section is not ordered, the baby may suffer birth injuries such as brachial palsy or Erb’s palsy.

Failure to perform a C-section in a timely manner can also have more catastrophic consequences. It can deprive the baby of oxygen and lead to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). HIE can lead to further complications and injuries, including developmental delays, cerebral palsy, and brain damage. In extreme cases a failure to perform a C-section can even lead to the death of the mother or child.

Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?

If a failure to perform a C-section results in a birth injury, negligent medical professionals should be held liable for resulting damages, including those that are economic and those that are not. To determine if there is grounds to file a medical malpractice claim, our lawyers must consider these factors:

  • Was there an established doctor-patient relationship?
  • Did the medical professional breach their duty of care by failing to perform a C-section (i.e. would a similarly trained medical professional have ordered the C-section if presented with the same circumstances?)
  • Was failure to order a C-section the direct cause of a birth injury?
  • Did the patient suffer economic or non-economic damages as the result of the birth injury?

If the answers to these questions are yes, a medical malpractice case should be filed.

Request a Consultation

Failure to perform a C-section can have devastating and long-term consequences. If your child suffered a birth injury that you believe was caused by medical malpractice and failure to perform a C-section, lawyers at Foley Law Firm can help you explore your legal options. To request a consultation, contact our law firm online, or call us at (570) 342-8194.

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Foley Law Firm

The attorneys of the Foley Law Firm provide committed personal injury representation to eastern Pennsylvania. Our firm is proud to be affiliated with prominent organizations, including:

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If you are looking for legal representation from a top-rated personal injury law firm in Scranton, call us at (800) 523-6539 or request a consultation online.

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