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Is Failure to Perform a C-Section Considered Malpractice?

By Renee Nordstrand on June 13, 2017

birth-injuryYes, failing to perform a C-section when necessary, or performing one too late into a delivery, can certainly be considered medical malpractice. The details of each specific case will impact whether such an event is legally malpractice, but it is worth investigating and considering a civil suit when appropriate. There are numerous medical reasons to perform a C-section, including fetal distress and extended labor, placenta previa, and if the mother has had a C-section in the past. If a doctor in California fails to notice these factors in a reasonable time and either fails to perform a C-section or does so too late to prevent birth injury, then it can be grounds for a malpractice lawsuit.

What’s a C-section?

A Cesarean section is a surgical procedure in which a child is removed from the womb through an incision into the mother’s abdomen and uterine wall. It is considered major surgery and certainly has risks, but is often required due to factors that make natural childbirth either impossible or dangerous to the child or mother. As long as proper steps are taken, the procedure is often successful and both the mother and child come away healthy.

Failing to perform a C-section when it is necessary, however, is just as dangerous as any other form of medical mistake and can have serious consequences for the mother or infant. Doctors should detect any signs of fetal distress, especially during a prolonged labor, and respond appropriately; the doctor should know that a C-section is necessary and then proceed properly and in a timely manner.

Why Would a Mother Need a C-section?

There are also numerous situations that can occur prior to labor that indicate a C-section may be necessary. Such issues can include things like placenta previa, in which case the placenta is obstructing the cervix and makes a natural childbirth impossible or dangerous for the infant. Similarly, high blood pressure prior to delivery can be a sign of preeclampsia, and require that a baby be born right away, which may make a C-section necessary.

In these types of situations, experienced doctors should know enough to identify that a problem has occurred and respond properly, often by ordering an immediate C-section. If a doctor failed to act within the standard of care in the medical community, he or she acted negligently. Proving this type of medical malpractice can be difficult, however, which is why you need an experienced birth injury lawyer to fight for you. Call NordstrandBlack PC today at (805) 962-2022 if you or someone you know has suffered due to a doctor failing to perform a C-section or doing so too late.

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