A previous post on this Texas blog talked about a major medical malpractice verdict awarded to a woman who was 16 at the time she gave birth. She successfully claimed that her providers should have proceeded with a Cesarean Section (C-Section), or surgical birth, when her baby showed signs of distress in the womb. Doctors for the hospital, on the other hand, have a different version of events and say that the woman refused to have a C-Section.
There are many reasons why a woman may need to have a C-Section in order to deliver a healthy child and remain healthy herself. While having a vaginal birth is usually a good idea when there are no medical concerns, it is ultimately the doctor’s job to identify a woman’s risk factors and, when they are present, to press upon the woman the importance of considering a surgical birth.
Some of these risk factors may only become apparent during the childbirth process itself. For example, a mother may need a C-Section when her baby shows signs that the delivery is putting a strain on the baby’s body. For instance, a high fetal heartrate or one that fluctuates wildly is a sign that a woman will require surgery to deliver a healthy baby, as the child could otherwise suffer oxygen deprivation and, eventually, a hypoxic brain injury.
Of course, no one will know whether the child is in distress unless doctors and medical staff monitor the progress of the labor and delivery carefully. A delayed C-Section, or simply passing on one altogether, is a common cause of birth injuries.