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5 Situations Where an Emergency C-Section May Be Necessary


When you haven’t made arrangements for a C-section in advance, you’ll certainly be surprised if your OB-GYN requests that you consent to an emergency procedure during labor. Under certain circumstances, it’s necessary to perform a C-section on an urgent basis to protect the health of the mother, infant, or both. However, there are certain guidelines established by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the most critical being “30 Minutes from Decision to Incision” – a recommendation that health care providers initiate a C-section within a half hour after determining that the procedure is essential.

If you or your infant was harmed and you have concerns about the circumstances surrounding a C-section, it’s critical to consult with a Florida birth injury lawyer right away. Meanwhile, it may help to review the most common reasons a physician would perform this procedure.

  1. Prolonged Labor: In some deliveries, labor doesn’t move forward at an appropriate pace. The mother’s cervix ceases to dilate and contractions either slow or stop. Continuing to push and attempt a vaginal delivery is futile and can lead to fetal distress. Attending health care providers must make a decision to order an emergency C-section as appropriate under the circumstances.
  1. Uterine Rupture: It’s somewhat common for the uterus to tear during delivery, often because of the infant’s size or position. The mother’s health may be in danger due to hemorrhaging, while the infant may suffer from lack of oxygen.
  1. Fetal Distress: Among the most common reasons to perform an emergency C-section is when the infant’s heart rate drops dramatically or remains low for a prolonged period of time. Fetal distress may occur due to:
  • Corresponding drops in the mother’s blood pressure
  • Maternal hemorrhaging
  • Shoulder dystocia, when the baby’s shoulder is caught above the mother’s pubic bone during delivery

The biggest risk with fetal distress is oxygen deprivation. If the decision to perform a C-section isn’t made at the proper time, the infant can suffer from a form of brain damage called HIE: Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy. 

  1. Placenta Previa: The placenta may lie low in the uterus or separate from the uterine wall as the cervix dilates, causing it to obstruct the cervix. In such a situation, the fetus cannot pass through the birth canal. Placenta previa can also cause hemorrhaging for the mother which, in turn, could deprive the infant of oxygen.
  1. Cord Prolapse: With some deliveries, the mother passes the umbilical cord through the birth canal before the fetus. Cord prolapse doesn’t always force an OB-GYN into a decision regarding a C-section, but it can increase the likelihood of complications with cord compression. When the cord is entangled, there may be interference with the supply of blood and oxygen supply to the infant.

Reach Out to a Florida Birth Injury Lawyer Today 

For more information on your legal options after a botched C-section, please contact Freidin Brown, P.A. to speak with a skilled Florida birth injury lawyer. We can set up a no-cost case evaluation to discuss your claim at our offices in Miami or Fort Myers, FL.




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