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Study Says C-sections More Common, But May Involve Risks and Complications

The number of deliveries via cesarean section is on the rise, but like any surgical procedure, there are always risks associated with this method. Our Chicago birth injury attorneys recently read an article on the HealthDay page on USNews.com in which we were surprised to learn that the number of c-sections increased 7% from 2002 to 2009. Although they are often convenient, experts warn that these procedures can be dangerous and should only be performed when necessary to protect the health and well-being of both mothers and babies.

According to the report, the rise in the number of cesareans is a result of a number of factors. For one, many mothers and physicians appreciate the convenience of knowing when the child will be delivered. There is also an increase in the number of older women giving birth and those suffering from diabetes and obesity, so physicians may choose c-sections to avoid birth injuries or other complications during delivery. The article also notes that many women may not fully understand the risks associated with cesarean surgery.

As with any surgery, there are a number of potentially serious complications associated with c-sections. In our practice, we represent mothers and children who have been injured during the birth process. Although many c-sections are planned, some mothers require emergency cesareans when complications during birth arise. This could be because the baby is not properly descending through the mother’s birth canal or a breech birth. Although when performed in these situations, a c-section is necessary and actually used as a remedy, sometimes they are delayed, in which case the child may suffer birth injuries. Our Illinois birth injury lawyers have represented clients in cases in which a physician’s failure to perform a c-section in a timely manner led to birth injuries, including a recent $6.5 million settlement for a young girl who suffers from cerebral palsy as a result of a delayed c-section.

Surgical errors and complications may occur during both planned and emergency cesareans. This can include anesthesia errors, blood clots, infection, cardiac arrest, perforated or severed bowels, or severe postpartum bleeding. Although in some cases a c-section may be a mother’s best option to minimize risk to her unborn child, due to the serious nature of these complications, it is important for women and their doctors to carefully weigh their options before deciding whether or not to perform a c-section.