Articles Posted in C-Section Delay

Disagreement about the superior methods of childbirth rage in many circles, including between mothers deciding what is best in their specific case. This is perhaps most vivid in discussions about births at home or births in the hospitals. Some prefer a natural birth in a non-medical setting, while others argue that hospitals are the only setting for these situations.

It is sometimes confusing to understand how these decisions play into potential medical malpractice or negligence cases in the event that problems develop. At the end of the day, the law is flexible in that compensation may be demanded in all cases where basic standards of care are not followed. Reasonable protocols exist in all setting–from hospitals to home births–and those involved are required to follow those standards.

In other words, no one can say for certain what is the best option for each individual family. But is is still important to understand possible risks of each option. Every day more information is released as researchers learn more about how certain childbirth options affect mothers and children. For example, just this week Medical Express published a story on study on the safety of vaginal birth in pre-term infants.

Childbirth comes with inherent risks–it is a major trauma on the body for the mother and a delicate process for the new child. Yet, because it occurs so frequently and is a natural part of the human experience, those inherent risks are often downplayed. Usually it is only after a tragedy that community attention is yet again reminded of the need to be incredibly vigilant about all aspects of this process.

The recent hospitalization of actress Tori Spelling is also a reminder of the dangers of the process. Spelling gave birth to her fourth child three weeks ago. The baby was born via C-section on August 30th. Uniquely, this was Spelling’s second child in one year. She gave birth to her third baby in October of last year. That prior birth was also via C-section. That means Spelling had two C-sections within eleven months of each other.

However, this week the mother suffered some problems. She apparently needed emergency surgery due to complications from the most recent C-section birth. The representative for Spelling did not provide many more details about what might have gone wrong.

The Sacramento Bee reported this week on a new jury verdict in a birth injury lawsuit. As each Chicago birth injury lawyer at our firm has explained often, the verdicts in these cases are often higher than in other cases because of the long-term consequences of these particular injuries. Of course, each case is unique and decisions are made on an individual basis. However, children hurt at birth usually need long-term care, special equipment, special therapy, and often have advanced medical needs for decades. All of that has a cost that is reflected in any jury verdict if liability is found.

In this latest case, a $78.5 million verdict was handed down by a jury after finding that a child’s brain injury was caused by medical negligence. The child is now three years old. His family claimed that he has severe spastic quadriplegia as a result of errors made during his birth.

The case centers on the 2008 birth of the boy. The child’s mother was 36 weeks pregnant went she went to the hospital with signs of placental abruption. This is the separation of the placenta from the uterus wall-it occurs before a baby is delivered. The placenta is the organ that provides necessary nourishment to the fetus. In response to the issue the doctor performed an ultrasound when fetal monitoring was not conclusive in explaining the situation.

Each Illinois birth injury lawyer at our firm knows that when it comes to childbirth timing is often a crucial element of proper care. Of course birth is a delicate process and when things go well, the child is born on schedule without specific emergencies. However, there are circumstances when a child facing health problems while still in the womb. This can occur in many ways, such as when oxygen is deprived to the baby or the child gets positioned incorrectly in the womb.

At these times, when things do not go according to plan, the skill and efficiency of the medical team is most needed. Yet, unfortunately the response at these times in inadequate. Serious birth injuries often result. When that happens it may be appropriate to seek out a birth injury lawyer to see if a lawsuit might be appropriate to seek redress and accountability.

That is what happened in a case that was recently profiled involving a birth injury where a doctor failed to deliver a child in a timely way which ultimately had serious repercussions. According to the court documents, the child was born in late January over six years ago. Complications developed during the birth. Specifically, the delivery involved an umbilical cord prolapsed and a nuchal cord. Our Chicago birth injury lawyers are very familiar with these delivery complications. Umbilical cord prolapse occurs when the umbilical cord exits the uterus before the child. It is an emergency and requires quick action to keep the child safe. A nuchal cord refers to the situation where the umbilical cord wraps around the fetus’s neck.

Vaginal births after C-sections (VBACs) are a hot topic in the world of childbirth these days. On one hand, the current C-section rates have been rising over the past few decades, reaching a point (between 30-40% of all births) that most agree is far too high. C-section are most expensive and more risky than healthy vaginal births. Performing these unnecessarily is therefore not a good scenario. However, on the other hand there situations where doctors are unsure if it is safe to have a vaginal birth instead of a C-section. Our Illinois birth injury lawyers appreciate that VBACs lie at the heart of that debate. VBACs are births involving women who have had a previous child delivered via C-section. There is disagreement about the increased risks of a birth injury when VBACs are performed.

A new study was recently published at PLOS Journal involving examination of the true risk of VBACs. The overall results are slightly muddled but indicate that women who have a vaginal birth after that have previous had a C-section are at a slightly higher risk of having some complications during their pregnancy and birth. This conclusion was reached by experts from the University of Adelaide in Australia.

The study examined over 2,300 women who had previously given birth via C-section. Of that group, slightly more than half chose to have a vaginal birth, while the remaining mothers had another C-section birth. None of the participating mothers in any group had previously had other complications, such as premature births. Therefore, all of the 2,300 participants were considered reasonable candidates for VBACs. No doubt the results might have been different if other factors were involved, such as mothers who had complications in the earlier birth.

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.

As reported late last week by Reuters, a new study is suggesting that unnecessary C-section procedures increase medical care by $2 billion every year worldwide. As the Illinois birth injury lawyers at our firm have often noted, the problem is particularly potent here in the United States. Estimates suggest that over the last few decades C-section rates have steadily increased. They now roughly account for about 1/3 of all U.S. births-the highest rate of all time.

Of course, perhaps most importantly, unnecessary C-sections create unnecessary risks for patients. Obviously there are situations where C-sections are absolutely essential. In fact, many Illinois birth injury lawsuits arise when medical teams fail to act reasonably to perform a C-section in a timely fashion in response to fetal distress or trauma. However, there are other situations where a C-section is not actually necessary. It should never be forgotten that C-sections are serious abdominal surgeries that come with inherent risks. Many mothers have developed infections or have suffered extreme blood loss as a result of these procedures. In addition, having a C-section can lead to problems in subsequent pregnancies. Placenta abnormalities are common in subsequent births which can lead to severe labor bleeding.

On top of the increased medical risks, unnecessary C-section also comes at a high cost. It is simply much more expensive to have a surgical birth than a vaginal birth. Cost savings are always a hot topic, particularly because tightening personal and public budgets. Spending money unnecessarily on healthcare costs should be avoided.

The Illinois birth injury lawyers at our firm appreciate that surgical births are seemingly always a hot topic in the medical community. For years the rate of birth that ultimately ended in a C-section crept higher and higher. This was alarming to many because, though surgical births are necessary in certain emergency situations, they come with increased risks of birth injury harm to mother and child. Therefore, the overall harm might increase if unnecessary C-sections were performed.

These concerns have led many hospitals to institute a range of goals in order to get the C-section rate down. For example, the Lund Report this week posted a story on how one hospital is trying to get its own rate down. The facility is tracking its surgical birth rate on a month-by-month basis to closely identify any trends. Nationwide, according to the March of Dimes, 25.2% of all childbirths are C-sections. Other studies have found that rate to actually be higher. The particular hospital engaged in this tracking program has found that its own rate is slightly lower, at 21.7%. Some facilities across the country have reported surgical birth rates as high as 45-50%. Overall, the United States has the highest C-section rate of any developed country in the world.

Lowering C-section rates can be difficult, because each decision has to be made on a case by case basis. If complications develop, C-sections are often absolutely essential. Failure to conduct a timely C-section in certain situations can be malpractice. That is why the main efforts at lowering the rate involve things like talking to mothers about the potential benefits of having a vaginal birth after they have already had a C-section with a previous child. These births, known as VBACs, once fell out of favor but are once again being championed by many.

Each Illinois cerebral palsy lawyer at our firm has worked closely with families raising a child with CP; we understand the day-to-day challenges faced. The condition occurs along a spectrum, and it is a mistake to lump any Illinois cerebral palsy victim together when describing the effects of the cognitive and physical injury. Like every other child, those with cerebral palsy have the potential to do great things in life and impact for the better all those around them. However, that is not to say that these children face do not face certain challenges that other children do not. For that reason, it is important for medical experts to continue working on ways to limit the prevalence of cerebral palsy-understanding how it develops and why so that future children can be spared the challenges.

For example, this week U.S. Legal News published a story that reports on a new study which found a link between premature C-section births and increased risk of cerebral palsy. The study, conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and Yale University was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. We touched on this same issue in a post earlier this week. The authors found that contrary to the beliefs of some, C-section births for premature infants were no safer than vaginal birth. In fact, the C-section births might come with a whole host of increased birth injury risks, including complications like cerebral palsy.

When talking about the issues on the “Today Show” recently, the NBC Chief Medical Editor touched on the study and shared a bit more information about the findings. She noted that the researchers said that when taking all medical complications into account, premature infants who were born via C-section had a 30 percent increase in chance of suffering a birth injury. The specific form of the complications varied, but they involved things like feeding and breathing challenges, temperature control problems, and jaundice. In fact, the issues were found to have the potential to worsen over time-increasing the risk of long-term complications leading to severe cognitive and physical challenges, like those faced by children with cerebral palsy.

Are Cesarean section births always advisable when it is known that a baby will be born premature? In the past, doctors seemingly always advised patients to have the surgical births in these situations, because it was assumed that birth injuries and complications were minimized in those situations. However, a new study reported by MSNBC‘s Health Today suggests that might not be the case. Each Chicago birth injury attorney at our firm was interested to read that the study finding suggest that C-sections may not be safer than regular vaginal births for the most fragile preterm children. In fact, this particular study suggests that the surgical births could lead to more complications in infants, including respiratory problems.

The story draws on research that was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Those presenting the findings suggest that they necessitate a re-thinking of the merit of C-sections in certain situations. The findings were presented by a professor of gynecology and obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

These research results fly in the face of current practices. According to the most recent data available, from 2009, about 46% of premature babies were delivered via C-section. Those born a few weeks later (37-39 weeks of gestation), have C-section rates that were ten percent lower. The discrepancy is usually explained by the fact that vaginal birth might be too traumatic for the most fragile infants. However, the new study suggests otherwise. After analyzing the medical records of more than 2,500 babies born prematurely over an eight year period they found that more than 55% had been delivered via C-section. But they didn’t find health benefits for the surgical births. Those born vaginally were no more likely to develop problems. In fact, C-section births led to increased risk of respiratory distress syndrome-a condition that may have long-term effects on the infant, often turning into asthma.

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