Prolific use of C-Sections criticized in recent studies

A common life-saving birth procedure is the Cesarean Section. This type of procedure is especially useful when the delivery process has stopped or slowed; the baby is not in a position to be delivered vaginally; or if the baby shows signs of distress. In many cases a C-Section can mean the difference between life and death for a mother or a child.

However, what was once a procedure performed only in emergency situations has now become commonplace for many births, whether it is needed or not. C-Sections only accounted for 4.5 percent of births in 1965. By 2013, the number of C-Sections had increased to 32.7 percent of all births worldwide. Many reasons have been given for the rise in C-Sections-everything from the desire of OB-GYNs to make more money by performing the procedure (even if it is not necessary) to the increase in obesity in the United States. Unfortunately, the use of C-Sections has not decreased the risk to the mother versus natural birth. Recently, The Economist published statistics showing that the number of maternal deaths has risen in the United States - the only industrialized country to show an increase in the past decade.

Despite the reasons for the increased number of C-Sections, due to their widespread use, they have been criticized lately in several medical journals. Last month, a study was published in BMJ that linked C-Section deliveries to an increased risk of chronic health problems such as asthma, chronic obesity and type 1 diabetes. Yet, the debate of whether C-Sections truly cause chronic diseases in children is ongoing.  A separate Irish study recently found that C-Sections did not cause autism. This study stood in sharp contrast to earlier studies that found that babies delivered by C-Sections were five times more likely to develop autism.

Although the jury is still out on whether C-Sections are a causal factor in chronic diseases, it is clear that women who undergo the procedure are at a greater risk of being a victim of surgical and obstetrical errors than those who deliver vaginally. Any error made by the anesthesiologist or obstetrician can cause injury or be fatal to either the mother or the child (or both). Like any surgical procedure, C-Sections carry a risk of fatal blood loss, blood clots, reactions to anesthesia, lacerations or infections. In other cases, the obstetrician can fail to order a necessary C-Section on time, which can cause the baby to not have sufficient oxygen. Unfortunately, this can lead to brain injuries or even cerebral palsy.

Speak with an attorney

Even with all the advances in medicine made in modern times, giving birth still carries a fair number of risks. Unfortunately, medical errors or other types of medical malpractice can cause many negative outcomes during birth. Unfortunately, it is not always clear at the onset whether malpractice played a role.

For this reason, if you or your child has suffered injury during the birth, it is important to consult an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can work with medical experts to determine whether medical negligence was involved and hold the responsible parties accountable under the law.