Articles Posted in Uterine Rupture

CBS 6 Albany reports this month that a $5.2 settlement was ordered in a lawsuit brought on behalf of a mother’s death during childbirth that occurred as a result of medical malpractice. Doctors cut or tore the mother’s uterine arties during a Caesarean section delivery, and this resulted in the mother hemorrhaging in the operating room and losing about 60% of her blood volume. The doctors failed to take timely action, not addressing the mother’s continued internal bleeding or repair it in surgery until more than six hours had passed. By then it was too late and the mother bled to death. The doctors were additionally found negligent in not performing the mother’s Caesarean section delivery in the morning when the mother’s labor progressed irregularly, and in not recording the mother’s vital signs when the Caesarean section delivery was eventually performed.

Maternal death ratios have increased in the United States recent years, according to Amnesty International USA. In 1987 there were 6.6 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, but by 2006 that ratio had increased to 13.3 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. This ratio is greater than that of 40 other countries. Furthermore, birth injury complications affecting a mother’s health occur to 1.7 million women every year in this country. Amnesty International USA attributes these maternal risks in part to inadequate staffing and quality protocols and a lack of accountability and oversight.

As the lawsuit illustrates, medical malpractice can result in serious consequences such as the preventable death of a mother during childbirth. Filing a lawsuit might be the best route to take to hold the doctors liable when this occurs. Similar to the New York lawsuit, the Illinois birth injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti received a $7.62 million verdict on behalf of a mother who bled to death after her HMO doctor disregarded the mother’s complaints of postpartum bleeding. If you believe a similar preventable tragedy has occurred to your family, please contact our Chicago birth injury attorneys.

There are serious risks, both to the mother and her baby, when having a “natural birth” after having delivered an earlier child by c-section. The procedure, known as vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC, for short), has been shown to cause serious injuries. For instance, there is a risk of the mother suffering a uterine rupture, which can be fatal to both her and her baby. There is also a chance that the VBAC will cause the baby to suffer oxygen deprivation (or birth hypoxia), leading to brain damage and cerebral palsy. These risks are compounded by doctors’ errors such as hesitation to perform the delivery or delaying a c-section. Recognizing that the decision to proceed with a VBAC may cause these birth injuries, and potentially be grounds for pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit, many doctors are now refusing to perform them, opting instead for another c-section delivery.

Read more about the risks of VBACS, and the difficulties of finding doctors willing to perform them, in an article by Time Magazine.

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