An Iowa couple recently filed a medical malpractice claim against the State of Iowa in its capacity as the operator of a hospital in which it is alleged that various health care providers committed medical malpractice that caused injuries to the mother and her baby during the Cesarean section delivery (also referred to as a “C-section”).
On Febraury 20, 2008, the expectant parents arrived at an Iowa hospital for the delivery of their son. The parents claim that there was an unnecessary and negligent delay of more than eight hours between the time they arrived at the hospital and when the baby was born by Cesarean section that caused serious injuries to both the mother and her child.
During the Cesarean section, it is alleged that the dome of the mother’s bladder was negligently cut which resulted in serious injuries to the mother, including infection, a bowel obstruction, wound separation, and a pelvic abscess. The couple’s medical malpractice lawsuit also alleges that the baby suffered serious trauma during delivery, including a partial skull fracture resulting in a skull deformity as well as multiple areas of subdural hemorrhage.
Cesarean Section Complications
The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that 1 in 3 babies in the United States are delivered by Cesarean section and that the rate of Cesarean section deliveries in the U.S. is increasing rapidly. There is an ongoing debate as to the extent that doctors are performing Cesarean sections that are medically unnecessary.
Women who deliver by vaginal birth average two days in the hospital after giving birth. Women who deliver by Cesarean section average from three to four days in the hospital after giving birth and they take longer to fully recover (four to six weeks) than women who have vaginal deliveries. And the expenses of Cesarean section deliveries are usually greater than those for vaginal deliveries.
The risks/complications for mothers that are associated with Cesarean section deliveries include increased bleeding that may require a blood transfusion, infection at the incision site or in the uterus or in nearby organs, medication reactions, reactions to anesthesia, injuries to the bladder or bowel, and blood clots in the legs or other organs. Deaths, although rare, are more likely with Cesarean section deliveries than with vaginal deliveries.
Women who get pregnant again after a C-section have an increased risk of placenta previa (where the placenta implants very low in the uterus and covers all or part of the internal opening of the cervix) and placenta accreta (where the placenta implants too deeply and too firmly in the urterine wall).
The risks/complications to the baby that are associated with Cesarean section deliveries include reactions to the anesthesia causing the baby to be inactive or sluggish and the greater likelihood of breathing problems when compared to babies delivered vaginally.
While there may be increased risks to the mother and the baby due to Cesarean section delivery when compared to vaginal delivery, the vast majority of all deliveries are concluded without serious complications to the mother or the baby.
However, if you or a loved one suffered serious injuries or complications during a Cesarean section (C-section) delivery or vaginal delivery, the investigative efforts of a medical malpractice attorney may help you determine if the unexpected results were due to medical malpractice.
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