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Mother’s C-Section Death Highlights Risks of Surgical Births

This weekend we published a story on the tragic death of a mother who passed aware after having a C-section birth with twins. A father remained heartbroken as he shared the story of watching his wife slip away mere hours after giving birth shortly after Thanksgiving. We explained how the story highlighted the fact that while “birth injuries” usually refer to problems that arise in a young child during delivery, they just as well can apply to serious injuries experienced by the mother during these traumatic births. There is no way around that fact that there are inherent risks in all childbirths, and those risks are magnified when the medical providers involved fail to act appropriately in any given situation.

A Fox News report this weekend on the same story took a different angle, and used the tragedy to remind readers that C-Section births present even more inherent risks than natural childbirths. The ubiquity of these surgical deliveries gives many a false sense of security-in some areas upwards of 40% of all babies are delivered surgically. However, the possibility of C-section complications are very real; lives are literally on the line every time one of these procedure is performed. It is important that all families (and medical professionals) keep those risks in mind as they make decisions about whether or not C-section births are appropriate in their situation.

As the husband involved in the latest tragedy explained, his wife showed zero signs of distress leading up to the procedure. The only seeming irregularity was that the surgery was moved up one day, because doctors found that the woman’s blood pressure was elevated in a pre-op appointment. The birth itself actually went fine, but the woman began to hemorrhage after the surgery. She did not survive the childbirth injury.

As the Fox News story explained, when hearing about that event many readers admitted disbelief that mothers are exposed to such risks when giving birth in this day and age. Considering that medical improvements have advanced to the point where the vast majority of birth complications are resolved, it is not surprising that community members underestimate the continuing childbirth risks. This is particularly true of surgical births.

Just like any other surgery-there are significant risks involved. Opening up the human body and performing any action, let alone the extraction of a new baby, is a complex procedure that places significant stress on the body. Every time a surgery is performed, that stress may result in any number of problems or surgical errors. Depending on the severity of the problem and the skill with which the medical providers respond to the problem, there can be significant consequences for the patient.

In the context of C-section births, doctors explain that bleeding is far and away the most common cause of death for the mother. Following the procedure the bleeding can be fast and severe. At times the speed of the bleeding is so significant that there is nothing medical professionals can do to save the patient. In addition, C-sections can also lead to bladder complications, bowel injuries, and infections. Blood clots are also possible which themselves can cause pulmonary embolisms-the blockage of a main lung artery.

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