NEW ORLEANS and METAIRIE, Louisiana. According to the American Council on Science and Health, the number of C-sections performed in America has increased by 50% over the last ten years. Why? Tina Rosenberg, writing for the New York Times, claims that most C-sections are not necessary. In many cases, C-sections are performed for the convenience of the doctor or for the convenience of the mother to plan her own birth. In some cases, C-sections occur because either the doctor or the mother induces labor. Failing to wait for labor to occur naturally can increase a woman’s risk of needing a C-section.
But why would doctors want to plan a woman’s labor and delivery? Many doctors are paid per delivery rather than through a salary. These doctors make most of their money from the delivery itself. This increases the incentive for doctors to deliver the baby themselves. However, when a woman is in labor, this can mean waiting around the hospital for the baby to arrive or going home only to be called back to the hospital again with an emergency. Doctors may not want to have to reschedule with current patients while waiting for a woman to be ready to deliver. Some doctors may opt to elect for a C-section in order to have more control over their schedules and make sure that they deliver the baby, not another doctor on hospital staff. Yet, the risks of C-sections are high and the decision to go forward with a C-section can affect both the mother and the baby for years to come.
In hospitals where doctors worked shifts and weren’t paid for each delivery they performed, the C-section rates went down. In these hospitals, women weren’t seen by one obstetrician, but rather went to the hospital where a team of doctors and sometimes nurse midwives were on hand to assist with the delivery.
Having a C-section increases a woman’s risk of needing a hysterectomy, of getting an infection, and suffering hemorrhage. Of course, delaying a necessary C-section can also lead to complications, including birth injuries. If the baby is in distress and the C-section isn’t performed soon enough, the baby can suffer from lack of oxygen, leading to brain damage and later developmental delay. In fact, these injuries can be so devastating that when families sue doctors for birth injury medical malpractice, they can sometimes receive millions in recovery. A Connecticut couple recently received $58 million when their physician delayed performing a C-section. The baby developed cerebral palsy and cannot walk or talk.
According to the Bowling Law Firm in New Orleans, delays in administering proper medical care, such as the unnecessary delay in performing a C-section can lead to serious birth injuries that can impact a child for life. Fortunately, birth injuries are rare. As few as 2% of babies suffer birth injuries. Yet, improper medical technique and failure to perform a timely cesarean section can lead to serious injuries. If you or a loved one has been affected by birth injury, you may wish to contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Metairie or New Orleans. Visit www.lawbowling.com to learn more about how you can protect your rights.