Attorneys

Understanding risks and common injuries of cesarean sections

Knowing about the birth injuries most commonly resulting from c-sections can help parents better understand the risks.

Those living in New York who are expecting to give birth soon will possibly choose to undergo a cesarean section or c-section. This is one form of giving birth that is different from vaginal birth, which is the more common form. Because a c-section is an invasive surgical procedure, there is potentially a greater risk of harm to the mother or the newborn. Knowing what kind of birth injuries are most commonly associated with c-sections and what exactly the potential risks are can help people to better expect and handle problem situations if they do occur.

What are the risks of a c-section?

C-sections are typically reserved for those who have had difficulty giving vaginal birth before, or for those who are currently experiencing or expected to run into problems with the non-surgical method. One thing to keep in mind is that during vaginal birth, amniotic fluid is squeezed out of the baby's lungs as it comes out of the birth canal. As this does not happen through c-section birth, babies born through c-section are more likely to suffer from neonatal respiratory distress.

C-sections can provide an overall lower risk in many cases, however there is a higher risk of infection when this procedure is performed. There is also a greater risk of birth-related injuries from this kind of delivery, for both the infant and mother. The time for a mother to recover from the birth is longer with c-section deliveries. While sometimes a c-section is able to save someone's lives, it is possible that one doctor may make a different call than another, so it is important to make sure to get a trusted medical opinion.

C-sections and fetal injuries

While this number varies with the amount of time between the making of the incision and delivery, a study by the Department of Obstetrics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has shown that 1.1 percent of cesarean section deliveries result in an injury to the infant. The risk of fetal injury is lowest with a "low transverse" incision and highest with "T" or "J" type incisions. A failed vacuum or forceps attempt greatly increases the risk of fetal injury from a c-section. Facial nerve palsy, skull fracture and brachial plexus are all issues newborns can get as the result of a c-section. More common are clavicular fractures and cephalohematoma, and the most common injury from c-section is skin laceration.

Anyone in New York who has had medical complications after undergoing a c-section, or whose infant appears to have medical problems that may have resulted from a c-section will likely have to deal with the high cost of medical treatment. It may be possible to get financial compensation in such unfortunate instances, and a local attorney who does medical malpractice cases may be able to help families get their desired outcomes.