As we discussed yesterday, advocates on all sides of the issue have recently expressed concerns about the rate of Cesarean section births nationwide. On one hand, in certain emergency situations, a C-section may be necessary to prevent a birth injury. Our Illinois birth injury attorneys have worked on many cases where medical professionals did not adequately respond to birth problems, usually resulting in oxygen deprivation and permanent problems for the child. In many of those cases the failure to perform a C-section was an important factor in the case.
Yet, the fact that C-sections are needed in certain situations does not equate to C-section birth being necessary (or advisable) in all births. Many observers remain concerned, therefore, that the percentage of C-section birth continues to rise. An article in yesterday’s “The Stir” made the point that these births may soon account for over 50% of all births-a state that almost everyone agrees is far too high. Twelve years ago many medical professionals set the goal of getting the C-section rate down to 15 percent. Instead, the trend has gone the opposite direction. As one observer noted, “it doesn’t take an anthropologist to know that something is wrong here-our birth do not have that many complications to make that high number necessary.”
Of course, as is the trend in some circles, some point the finger at medical malpractice lawyers and claim that fear of lawsuits leads to poor medical action. We strongly believe that there is a clear difference between performing a C-section to save a child’s life and having nearly1 in 2 mothers go through an intrusive surgical procedure for fear of lawsuits. It is unfair and illogical to blame the previous victims of medical malpractice for the misconduct of doctors today. Instead, as was noted in the article, many other factors should be considered. For example, many hospitals have blanket bans on vaginal births after C-sections (VBACs). Also, some are concerned that doctors and hospitals are paid more for C-section births than vaginal births which may skew the decisions.
Additionally, a growing chorus of observers blame that the fact that breech births are not even taught in medical school any longer. Obstetrics and Gynecology medical schools never learn how to perform a breech vaginal birth, even though in many cases they may be safer than C-sections births. In fact, some OB students admit that throughout their entire training they never once saw an actual intervention-free birth.
In any event, virtually everyone agrees that the risks of C-section surgery should not be underestimated. The procedure is a seriously invasive operation that should not be taken for granted. All mothers need to be made aware of the clear risks of the procedure, and told about options beyond C-sections, particularly when the procedure is not needed. There are many instances of possible healthy births that snowball into a myriad of problems because of surgical complications. If the procedure isn’t necessary, it shouldn’t be performed. At the end of the day, whatever is less risky for the mother and child should always predominate.
In Other News: Two of our companion blogs–The Illinois Medical Malpractice Blog and Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog–were nominated for inclusion as one of the Top 25 Tort Blogs of 2011. The award is part of the LexisNexis project which seeks to feature blogs that set the standard in certain practice areas and industries. The voting to narrow down the field is currently underway, and we would love to have your vote. All you have to do is add a comment at the end of the post about the Top 25 bogs.
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