C-section error leads to lawsuit

A mother recently filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County, alleging that she and her newborn baby were victims of medical malpractice. She filed the case of Dec. 20, 2012 against the university of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) and two doctors for causing them to suffer injuries from a mistake made during her Cesarean section.

In 2004, the Patient Safety Authority in Harrisburg, Penn. stated that at least 20 facilities reported incidents similar to fetal lacerations linked to C-sections. Approximately 70% of those lacerations were to the infants’ ear, head and face. 20% were below the waist of the fetus on the ankles, legs and buttocks, and the remaining 10% were on the fetuses’ backs.

These lacerations can easily happen if the performing surgeon performing the procedure in inexperienced or if they make mistakes in a C-section emergency and membranes are ruptured before the operation.

Typically, hospitals have safety protocols to avoid these types of injuries; these include removing abdominal wall retractors before delivery; prior to incision, moving the uterine wall away from the baby; and using blunt instruments. Some hospitals use checklists to be sure doctors take all of these necessary precautions to prevent lacerations.

Despite these hospital standards, the Illinois plaintiff argues that her baby received a fatal cut to the left side of his head that was 1.5 cm long and it required stitches to close it.

Studies have proven that lacerations such as that one can be severe and cause long-lasting damage. In 2006, a study of 37,110 C-sections was examined and it was discovered that 1.15% had resulted in injury to the fetus. The most frequent was lacerations to the skin, although other injuries include facial nerve palsy and bone fractures.

In 2009, a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology reported that in the case of a 2 cm cut on a newborn, twelve years later the scar had migrated and grown to 10 cm.

If you or your newborn has been injured at the fault of your doctor, contact a personal injury attorney for assistance today. Located in DuPage, Cook, Kane and Will Counties, Martoccio & Martoccio attorneys will fight for you.

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