For many expectant mothers, a C-section—also known as a cesarean section—is the safest way to birth their baby. However, it is still a major abdominal surgery the poses risks to both the mother and the fetus. While most C-sections are performed without problems, complications can still arise, especially when a member of the medical team overseeing delivery is negligent.
If you or your infant suffered a C-section injury in Michigan as a direct result of medical negligence, you could benefit from reaching out to an experienced lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. to discuss your legal options. By meeting with an attorney, you could have help in reviewing your legal options and determining the next best steps.
What is a Cesarean Section?
In certain circumstances, doctors must perform cesarean deliveries. A C-section is a delivery made through an incision in the abdominal and uterine walls. This may be ordered by the doctor when risk factors are high for a vaginal birth. Some of the indicators that might lead to a cesarean section include:
- Prior C-section
- Fetopelvic disproportion
- Maternal disorders
- Transverse lie
- Tumor obstruction in the pelvis
- Certain prior uterine or vaginal surgical procedures
- Documented fetal distress
C-sections are considered a major surgical process and doctors and patients should give serious consideration to the justification for the procedure as well as any contraindications. Although they are one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States, complications can affect both the baby and the mother.
Risks of a Cesarean Section
A C-section is usually done with an epidural for anesthesia instead of general anesthesia, so that the mother can be awake to experience the birth. During the procedure, the obstetrician makes a surgical incision into the mother’s abdomen and through the uterine wall—here, they are able to reach the baby and deliver it through the abdomen of its mother.
Unfortunately, even when the mother and baby are in excellent health and the medical team has years of experience, there are still risks for a C-section injury in Michigan. These risks include:
- Internal organ damage
- Nerve damage
- Lacerated bowels
- Blood clots
- Heart and lung damage
The fetus can also suffer damages such as broken bones, nerve damage, bruising, and fetal lacerations. Unfortunately, fetal lacerations can grow as the infant grows, and might become infected, require suturing, and even cause permanent scarring and disfigurement. However, there are specific steps a delivering doctor can take when performing a C-section to significantly decrease the chances of fetal lacerations, as well as other complications.
C-Section Complications and Errors
Errors during these procedures can put both the baby and the mother at risk for serious injury or even death. Doctors and nurses are responsible for monitoring the mother’s health during labor to determine if a C-section is needed. They are also responsible for monitoring the fetus for any signs of distress. A cesarean must be performed within a short amount of time when risk factors are identified. C-section complications and errors include:
- Failure to perform a timely procedure
- Physical injury to fetus during a procedure
- Damaged organs surrounding the incision
- Burns caused by surgical instruments
- Oxygen deprivation to the fetus associated with a delayed procedure
- Failure to prevent post-partum hemorrhage
Establishing Negligence for a Mishandled Procedure
When a physician agrees to see and treat a patient, they have also agreed to accept a duty of care. This duty is to use their knowledge and training to provide the same standard of care that other physicians with equal knowledge and training would provide in a similar situation. If the doctor fails to uphold this duty, negligence occurs. For example, if an infant suffers a fetal laceration that could have otherwise been avoided, had a doctor been monitoring the situation properly, this might be legal grounds for a civil claim.
However, even when a C-section injury is apparent, an injured claimant must still demonstrate how a medical professional was negligent for a successful claim in Michigan. This is done through a series of legal steps, which could be explained and executed by a seasoned lawyer.
Filing a Lawsuit on Time
To maintain their legal rights, it is imperative that a potential plaintiff who has suffered a C-section injury in Michigan reach out to a tenacious lawyer as soon as possible. A persistent attorney could help to not only preserve vital evidence that might benefit a claim, but also work to ensure that a lawsuit is filed that meets the state’s statute of limitations.
Under Michigan Compiled Laws § 600.5851, there is a two-year time limit for children under the age of 8 who were injured during labor or childbirth, or before their 10th birthday—whichever timeframe is longer. Furthermore, a mother seeking compensation for her own injuries must adhere to the standard two-year deadline as well.
Seek Legal Help for a Michigan C-Section Injury
If you or your child suffered a C-section injury in Michigan, you are likely to be experiencing physical pain and intense emotional anguish. Furthermore, you might have issues paying off medical bills and be unable to return to work to earn wages. Thankfully, all of these—and other—losses can be calculate when filing an injury lawsuit.
However, it must first be established that a medical professional breached their duty of care and was, in fact, negligent. For help with a claim, a well-versed lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. could stand by your side through each step. Reach out today to discuss your unique circumstances.
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