Unnecessary Birth Brain Injuries: The Result of a Delayed C-Section

Close-up of a fetal monitor print outAlthough many women arrive at the birthing center of their local hospitals in labor and hope to have a natural delivery, sometimes problems occur and an emergency C-section delivery is required. This is often the case when the baby is in distress, if there is a prolapsed cord, and when uterine rupture or placental abruption occurs. A C-section is also needed if the labor is failing to progress.

In most cases of emergency C-sections, the baby becomes distressed and his or her heart rate or oxygen levels aren’t what they should be. Before rushing into a C-section, the medical staff will make attempts to help the labor along by turning the mother on her side or trying other interventions. However, if a nurse or obstetrician allows the labor to continue for too long, it could mean the baby isn’t receiving necessary oxygen.

When the medical staff fails to monitor a baby’s heart rate or fails to order or perform an emergency C-section in a timely manner, the baby can suffer serious disabilities, such as:

  • Birth brain injury. When there is a delay in performing a C-section, it could mean decreased oxygen to the baby. When oxygen deprivation occurs (also known as birth asphyxia or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy), significant brain damage is the result. Sadly, babies who suffer a lack of oxygen end up with lifelong impairments.
  • Cerebral palsy.  A doctor’s delay in performing a C-section can also cause cerebral palsy, which is a disorder that affects a baby’s muscles, coordination, balance, and walking. This birth injury appears to be a physical disability because of a child’s affected posture, joint and bone deformities, and limited movement, but it occurs from damage to the brain.

Sadly, a delayed C-section can mean brain damage, learning disabilities, developmental delays, and cerebral palsy. Not only can a delayed C-section cause lifelong disabilities for the baby, but an entire family’s life can be adversely affected as a result of medical negligence.

If you believe your nurse or doctor failed to monitor your baby’s oxygen levels or heart rate levels closely, or if you overheard indications that they purposely delayed your C-section for more than 30 minutes, your baby could have suffered unnecessary birth injuries as a result of medical malpractice. We would be honored to help you seek justice. Please call us for a free consultation at (703) 591-0067.