A Cesarean section, also known as a C-section, is quite common in the U.S., with one in three babies born via C-section. There are several reasons why C-section deliveries are performed, but they also carry risks to mother and child. C-section deliveries can be planned ahead of time if complications develop during pregnancy or if the mother has previously had a C-section. Also, emergency C-sections may be performed during labor if the baby is under fetal distress or if the baby is in the wrong position. When a C-section is delayed, it can lead to severe injuries to the infant. Let’s go over some birth injuries caused by a delayed C-section.
A delayed C-section can lead to serious complications, especially oxygen deprivation. Not enough oxygen and blood flow to a baby’s brain during labor is a common cause of cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is the result of brain damage and affects the body’s control of movement and posture. The condition affects both motor coordination and cognition and may occur due to medical malpractice. Extensive therapies are used to help with the symptoms of cerebral palsy and are usually needed every day for one’s lifetime.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is a collection of nerves located in the upper shoulder and neck. The nerves can be damaged when the area is pulled or pinched by a doctor rushing to deliver a baby. Damage to the baby’s shoulders, arms, and hands may be permanent, and nerve injuries affect facial muscles and impact speech.
Fetal lacerations such as scrapes and cuts caused by surgical tools like scalpels and forceps are more common in a delayed, rushed, or emergency C-section procedure. Usually, lacerations will need to be treated to prevent infection and require stitches or reconstructive surgery.
Infants are more likely to experience breathing problems when delivered by C-section. Poor oxygen levels decrease a newborn’s blood pressure heart rate and limit the blood flow to vital organs and tissue. This causes irreversible neurological or cellular damage and leads to permanent disabilities like epilepsy, vision, and hearing impairment. It’s also crucial that babies are monitored and treated after birth, as breathing problems can lead to respiratory distress syndrome and long-term health issues.
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