Cesarean sections are a surgical alternative to a natural birth. While a natural birth is the preferred method of delivering a baby, there are certain circumstances under which that is impossible. C-sections may be planned ahead of time should pregnancy complications or a previous history suggest it is the best course of action. When a C-section is necessary, it is up to medical staff to ensure that the surgery is performed safely and without mistakes.
While this is a common surgery, it has all the risks that are associated with any other surgery, such as anesthesia problems, infection, and surgical errors. Any mistake could inflict injury on the mother and the child.
Some indications that that a C-section is necessary in order to avoid causing or aggravating a potential birth injury include:
- Breech presentation
- Delayed labor
- Fetal heart rate changes
- Low oxygen levels in the fetus
- Signs of fetal distress
- Stopped labor
- Umbilical cord problems
If any of the above indications occur, the attending staff should be alerted of the possible need to perform an immediate, emergency C-section. Doctors, nurses, midwives, and others medical personnel should precede with caution.
Even though a C-section may be performed in order to avoid a birth injury, the surgery may cause the opposite result. If a C-section is delayed, a birth injury may occur, such as:
- Bone fracture
- Cerebral palsy
- Fetal brain damage
There are two categories of C-section mistakes:
- Failing to perform the C-section in a timely manner
- Errors made during the C-section procedure
Both of these types of C-section mistakes can result in severe harm to mother and child. If complications arise in the delivery, the quick choice to perform a C-section may mean the difference between a healthy baby and a baby born with brain damage or other type of birth injury. Errors made during the C-section procedure can include cuts to the baby’s skin or damage to the baby’s organs or nerves. In some instances, these injuries can be treated after birth; however this is not always the case. Even the injuries that are treatable may require medical procedures that are invasive or even surgery. The mother’s nearby organs may also be damaged, such as the bladder, requiring additional surgery to repair and time to recover.
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