April 3, 2012

Helping Women Find Their Optimal Birthing Method

by Levin & Perconti

Our Illinois birth injury lawyers have frequently shared information about concerns regarding the rising C-section rates. Many medical professionals have indicated that the current C-section rates are alarmingly high, particularly considering the increased risks in surgical births and the significant cost increases. Many hospitals have been working to figure out ways to cut down on the rates. However, finding a solution is not easy. On certain occasions C-sections are absolutely necessary for the health and well-being of the mother and child. Of course, it may be medical malpractice not to perform a C-section in those situations. Yet, that does not mean that it is proper to perform these procedures at any time.

A recent article from the Journal-Review touched on the topic. The story explains how C-sections are now the nation’s most common surgical procedure. More than 1.4 million of these surgical births occur across the country each year. At that rate roughly 33% of births nationwide are C-section. The rate is higher in some parts of the country, and the overall rate represents essentially the highest level ever. Over the last ten to fifteen years that rate has increased by 73% according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Our Chicago birth injury attorneys appreciate that if each of those surgical births were necessary for the health of the mother or child then the rates wouldn’t necessarily be that alarming. However, many suggest that those C-sections are not necessary. That is why some support groups are springing up which are geared toward helping women reach the important decision about their optimal birthing method. Many of these groups involve the sharing of information about how to realize a natural birth.

At times the group members share stories about situations where C-sections were performed unnecessarily. For example, at a recent meeting of one of these groups a woman explained that her pregnancy was going well. She was 24, did not have any complications, and was working as a receptionist and photographer up until she was 36 weeks pregnant. Near her due date she began feeling slight contractions, and so she went to the local hospital. The woman reports that she knew that she was not in full labor, but she wanted to go check and see what was going on anyway.

A nurse monitored the woman’s condition and explained that everything was fine. The baby’s heart was without complications and there was no indication of fetal distress. However, the woman was surprised to find that instead of being sent home, the doctor on duty (not her own doctor) wanted her to be induced. The woman and her husband expressed their preference to go home and wait for labor. However, the nurses advised the family against it, noting that if they did so, they would be liable for any complications.

The woman was given drugs which sped up contractions slightly. However, after a few hours the doctor decided to perform a C-section because of the woman’s “failure to progress.” The mother explains that she believes that at the end of the day the operation was performed for the doctor’s convenience. Our Chicago birth injury lawyers know that this is never an appropriate factor in medical decision-making. In this case, it likely led to the woman undergoing a serious, and unnecessary abdominal surgery. We advise all local families to be aware of these concerns and potential issues.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Dramatic Rise in Cesarean Births

Report Finds Recent Rise in C-Section Births