Medicine is constantly evolving. As new research and data emerges, practitioners adapt the way they provide care to offer patients the best chance at a healthy life. One example of this is cesarean births. Obstetricians began using cesarean births to help laboring mothers and distressed infants. In a cesarean birth, also known as a C-section, the baby is delivered through incisions made in the mother’s abdomen and uterus.
However, as the years passed, the rate of C-section births grew. In 1970, only about 5 percent of all babies were born via C-section. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 32 percent of all births were the result of a C-section delivery.
In response to the growing number of C-sections in the United States and abroad, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that a rate of as low as 10 percent of all births would be an ideal number. Providers set out to eliminate unnecessary C-sections and encourage more vaginal births. A recent study, however, challenges the WHO recommendation and states that a higher C-section rate could be safer for both mothers and children.
Why Have a Cesarean Birth?
There are many reasons for a C-section. Typically, they are done in response to some health problem for the mother or the baby. They can be scheduled ahead of time or done emergently as a pregnancy or labor grows worrisome. Some reasons for C-sections include:
- Failure of the labor to progress.
- Breech presentation of the baby.
- Problems with the placenta.
- A very large baby.
- Maternal medical conditions.
- Delivery of multiples.
Every pregnancy and delivery is unique, and the decision to move forward with a C-section is typically made by a doctor.
New Study Argues Against Lowering C-Section Rates
Citing a number of unnecessary operations, the higher cost of C-sections, and possible complications for an infant after a caesarean birth, many providers have been trying to reduce the number of caesarean births. However, one recent study found that C-section rates higher than the WHO guidelines could be safer. The study states that rates as high as 19 percent “were associated with lower maternal or neonatal mortality,” and that the previous guidelines suggested by the WHO may be too low.
When a Necessary C-Section Is Not Performed
Healthcare providers may fail to perform a necessary C-section for a number of reasons. In some of these cases, the baby may suffer injuries due to the prolonged labor or trauma of a vaginal delivery. Though rare, this can sometimes result in:
- Cerebral palsy.
- Developmental delays.
- Hearing loss or blindness.
- Brain damage.
- Shoulder dystocia and Erb’s palsy.
Sometimes, even when everything is done right, injuries happen. However, if a medical professional fails to recognize the warning signs and act appropriately, they may be held accountable. If your baby suffered a birth injury that you think may have been prevented by a C-section, you may be entitled to make a claim. Contact the experienced legal team at the Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm today at (217) 394-5885 to find answers to your questions and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.