The birth of a child is one of the most exciting moments in their parents’ lives. While a natural vaginal birth is healthier for the mother and child, unexpected medical complications can arise. An emergency cesarean section or C-section may be medically necessary, especially when the mother or infant is in distress during labor.
The attending physician should recognize those signs of distress immediately. Otherwise, it could put the mother and infant at tremendous risk, which can result in devastating consequences.
What are the consequences and risks of a delayed C-section?
When a mother is in distress during labor, her blood pressure can increase exponentially. The stress from the labor could rupture her uterus, resulting in excessive and severe bleeding. The mother can even suffer an infection. A delayed C-section can cause critical damage to the fetus. Below are the potential risks and consequences a fetus may suffer because of a delayed C-section:
- Permanent brain injury to the baby
- Failure to establish breathing at birth (birth asphyxia)
- Cerebral palsy
- Cortical blindness
- Physical and mental developmental delays
- Organ failure
- Physical injuries
- Other birth defects
Fetal and maternal distress can happen anytime and progress quickly, which is why your attending physician should closely monitor you and your baby. Your physician should give you and your baby a medical standard of care, including identifying when an emergency C-section is a medical necessity and performing it.
Failure to detect maternal and fetal distress is negligence
The consequences of a delayed C-section are preventable when you eliminate the delay. When your physician fails to monitor the baby and mother for signs of distress and does not perform their duties as any reasonable physician would have, you can hold them accountable for medical negligence.