When C-sections are delayed because doctors or nurses don’t recognize dangerous complications during labor, birth injuries can happen. The types of birth injuries caused by delayed C-sections include:
- Brain damage
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy.
Children who sustain such injuries will often need expensive and sometimes long-term medical care. They may also need other assistance with many activities of daily life.
What Happens With a Delayed C-Section?
About one in three babies is born via C-section, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show. Caesarean sections are sometimes scheduled ahead of time when doctors think there could be problems with normal vaginal delivery. In other cases, though, emergency C-sections must be done for the health of the mother and baby if labor isn’t progressing safely. When C-sections are delayed, birth injuries can result.
Brain Damage from a Delayed C-Section
When babies are in distress they may not get enough blood flow and oxygen to the brain. If C-sections aren’t quickly performed to deliver babies, they can suffer brain damage. Severe brain damage can cause lifelong problems. These problems could include learning disabilities, developmental issues, seizures, tremors, muscle spasms, and paralysis.
Cerebral Palsy Caused by a Delayed C-Section
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects coordination and balance. It’s a common result of brain damage in babies. Children who have cerebral palsy may have problems crawling, sitting up, walking, eating, and speaking. They may have problems with sight and hearing. Other concerns due to cerebral palsy can include epilepsy and deformed bones and joints.
Erb’s Palsy when a C-section Is Delayed
In some cases, if emergency C-sections aren’t ordered during difficult deliveries, babies can become stuck in the birth canal. Erb’s palsy is nerve damage that results when an infant’s neck is stretched to the side while being pulled out of the birth canal. It causes paralysis in the upper arm and a reduced range of motion in the lower arm. These issues can require surgery to correct.
What to Do if Your Child Has an Injury Caused by a Delayed C-Section
If your child suffered a birth injury caused by a delayed C-section, you may have financial recourse. Doctors and nurses who don’t recognize when a C-section is necessary for the health of the mother and/or baby may be guilty of medical malpractice. In a malpractice claim, it has to be proven that the doctor or nurse was negligent. Negligence means that the doctor or other healthcare professional didn’t act in a way that another competent doctor would have in a similar situation.
Damages You Could Get in a Medical Malpractice Claim
While filing a claim won’t erase your child’s injury, it can help pay the costs of medical treatment and other care your child may need. In a medical malpractice claim due to birth injury, you may be able to seek compensation for:
- Your child’s current and future medical care
- Medical equipment and devices that your child may need now and in the future
- Your child’s pain and suffering
- Punitive damages if the medical provider was grossly negligent.
Every birth injury claim is different as are the damages you may ask for in your claim. An attorney can advise you about damages you may be able to get.
Suing Doctors Can Be a Difficult Process
Filing a claim against doctors and other healthcare workers is often a difficult and complex process. Special deadlines with stringent requirements are to be expected. Health care professionals are unlikely to admit that they did anything wrong. Unless you have in-depth knowledge of the medical malpractice insurance system, it’s wise to get the help of an experienced attorney who is used to taking on medical malpractice insurers for injuries caused by negligence. Attorneys know how to aggressively negotiate with insurers to get their clients the compensation they need. And if an insurer won’t agree to a fair settlement, your lawyer can explain your options for getting compensation through a trial before a judge or jury.
Time Limits for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Texas
There is a statute of limitations or time limit of two years from the date of injury for bringing medical malpractice claims in Texas. There are many exceptions to this time limit, including other unique, critical deadlines. Always speak directly to a Houston birth injury attorney about how the statute of limitations and other deadlines apply in your case.
When are Emergency C-Sections Needed?
C-sections can be necessary when:
- A fetus is very large or has an abnormally large head
- There is more than one baby in the womb
- A baby is breech, meaning his or her feet are pointing into the birth canal, or the baby is in another abnormal position
- The mother’s labor isn’t progressing as it should
- The fetus is showing signs of distress, such as a slowing heartbeat
- The mother has had previous C-sections with other children
- The umbilical cord is prolapsed, which means part of it may have slipped through the cervix in front of the baby
- There’s a problem with placenta covering the cervix.
If your C-section was unnecessarily delayed or wasn’t performed at all and it resulted in birth injuries, don’t hesitate to speak with a birth injury lawyer. Every parent wants a healthy child…and every child deserves to be born healthy. When doctors and other healthcare professionals are negligent, they should be held accountable for the injuries their careless actions have caused.
Get Help from a Houston Birth Injury Lawyer
If you believe your child experienced birth injuries due to the negligence of a medical provider, we can help you. Once our Houston birth injury lawyer learns all the details of your case, we’ll counsel you about what options you may have.
Taking on doctors, nurses, hospitals, and others in the medical establishment can be hard. Our understanding and experienced lawyers will stand up for you and fight to get you the compensation your family deserves to help you with the costs of your child’s injuries. Call the accident and injury law office of Terry Bryant today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by dialing (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.