Performing a Timely Caesarean Section, or C-Section

If a child suffered a birth injury or a mother was injured or died during delivery, it is important to determine if a timely Caesarean section could have prevented the tragedy. Doctors and other healthcare providers in the labor process are trained to recognize signs of fetal and maternal distress. They must respond appropriately to order a timely C-section. Failure to do so may constitute medical malpractice and may result in a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit.

Determining whether your doctor or care provider negligently failed to perform a timely Caesarean section can be a difficult and technical process. At The Abelson Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive experience with these complex types of medical malpractice cases. Call or contact us online today for a free evaluation of your potential legal claim.

We can answer questions such as:

  • Should a timely Caesarean have been performed during my labor and delivery?
  • Could I have a medical malpractice claim if a timely Caesarean section was not performed, causing a birth injury?
  • How can a medical malpractice lawyer help if a timely C-section was not performed?

Timely Caesarean Sections During Labor and Delivery

The Northern New England Prenatal Quality Improvement Network (NNEPQIN) provides a list of indicators that should prompt a care provider to order an emergency C-section. The typical indicators include:

  • Prolonged bradycardia (slow heartbeat) or other signs of fetal distress, including repetitive severe heartbeat decelerations that exhibit with decreased variability.
  • Prolapse of the umbilical cord.
  • Massive bleeding or hemorrhaging.
  • Breech baby with rapidly progressing labor.
  • Cardiopulmonary arrest of the mother or other indicators of maternal distress.
  • Suspected rupture of the uterus.
  • A second twin waiting to be born with any of the other issues.

When these or other indicators are exhibited, medical providers should take appropriate action. NNEPQIN has divided emergency Caesareans into two categories: stat Caesarean deliveries and urgent Caesarean deliveries.

Stat C-sections should be performed when there is risk of impending death of the mother or baby. The goal is to reduce the time from identifying the distress to delivering the infant.

Urgent C-sections should occur when a Caesarean must be performed quickly not only due to deteriorating conditions, but also when there is no imminent risk of fetal compromise. The safety of the patient must be considered under these circumstances.

Most hospitals and medical providers have similar processes for ordering unscheduled C-sections, although the words and policies may differ slightly from facility to facility.

If signs of distress were exhibited by mother or baby during your delivery, a timely C-section likely should have been performed. Hospitals must be prepared to perform a C-section in situations where a woman who has previously had a C-section attempts a vaginal birth, as this type of delivery after a C-section carries an increased risk.

Medical Malpractice Claims if a Timely Caesarean Was Not Performed

If a timely C-section was not performed and something went wrong during your child’s delivery, you may have a malpractice claim. You may be entitled to bring a lawsuit for medical negligence and obtain compensation if:

  • The doctor, hospital or other medical provider failed to order a Caesarean section despite signs of problems or indicators of distress.
  • A reasonable care provider in the same position with a similar background would have ordered a timely Caesarean section.
  • Your doctor or care provider fell short of fulfilling the professional duty because of the failure to act as a reasonable provider would have.
  • Harm to the mother or baby occurred as a direct result.

It is up to you to prove that the care provider fell short of his or her obligations.

Hospitals and clinics may be held liable for the negligence or failure of doctors and other staff members during labor. Hospitals and clinics may also be held liable if the medical facility did not have reasonable safety policies and procedures in place, such as a protocol for ordering emergency C-sections.

How a Lawyer Can Help if a Timely C-Section Was Not Performed

If a timely Caesarean should have been performed in your child’s delivery and harm resulted because it wasn’t, a medical malpractice lawyer at The Abelson Law Firm, can provide you with legal assistance so you can make a claim for damages.

We can help to:

  • Obtain medical records.
  • Find independent experts to review medical records and testify about how the malpractice occurred.
  • Negotiate a settlement with the negligent care provider and the insurance company.
  • Pursue a malpractice case in court, showing that the failure to order a timely Caesarean section was an act of professional negligence that caused harm.

To learn more about the legal services we provide and to speak to an attorney who can get your case started, call or contact us online today.

During labor and delivery, conditions can change dynamically, and quickly. It’s the doctor’s responsibility to monitor the health of both mother and child and make quick, accurate assessments of the care that both mother and child require. Certain conditions, e.g. bacterial infection, abrupted placenta or umbilical cord entanglement, require immediate intervention. If mistakes are made, the physician failed to comply with reasonable standards of care and the baby is injured, the doctor or other healthcare professionals may be held accountable.

The Abelson Law Firm, in Washington DC can help you obtain the financial resources necessary to manage the long-term effects of a birth injury. With over 35 years of legal experience, Attorney Michael A. Abelson can help protect your baby’s future. Contact us online  for a free consultation.


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