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Failure to Perform A Caesarean Section

Failure to Perform A Caesarean Section

Around 22% of babies in England and Wales are delivered by caesarean section, the majority of which are unplanned. Emergency C-sections are only performed when mother and baby are at risk and are often a matter of urgency. Therefore if a medical team fails to perform an emergency caesarean section despite evident signs of complication during labour, then the welfare of a mother and her unborn child could be threatened.

Emergency Caesarean Sections

An emergency caesarean section is when a woman had intended to have a vaginal birth but experiences complications during labour, meaning a C-section is the safest mode of delivery. This therefore differs from a planned (or elective) caesarean section, which is decided upon during pregnancy itself.

This decision to perform an emergency caesarean section will be taken by your medical team, although you still need to give your consent. However, it is worth noting that they are only carried out in medical emergencies when there is significant risk to mother and/or baby.

Why Might an Emergency Caesarean Be Needed?

There are a number of reasons an emergency caesarean may be needed. These include some of the following:-

  • Progress of labour is slow or has stalled;
  • The baby is showing signs of distress;
  • The baby is premature;
  • The baby is in the breach position;
  • There are concerns over the mother's health;
  • Placenta abruption (bleeding from the placenta);
  • Plaenta praevia (when the placenta is low down inside the uterus);
  • Cord prolapse (when the umbilical cord slips down into the birth canal);
  • Attempted forceps or instrumental delivery has not worked.

Failure to Carry Out an Emergency Caesarean Section

During labour, both mother and baby need to be carefully monitored. If anything irregular begins to happen, it should be immediately noticed and observed. If the problem is not resolved and the welfare of either mother or baby is put in danger, medical staff quickly need to decide upon an appropriate course of action. In some circumstances (such as the ones mentioned above), an emergency caesarean section will be necessary.

However, unfortunately there are times when a mother urgently needs to undergo an emergency caesarean section, but medical professionals fail to carry one out. This may happen if:-

  • Mother and baby are not appropriately monitored;
  • There is a breakdown in communication between medical staff;
  • A complication fails to be diagnosed;
  • There is a delay in deciding to perform a C-section.

Making a Medical Negligence Claim

If medical professionals fail to perform an emergency caesarean section and mother and child suffer as a result, then it is likely there has been a case of medical negligence. This is when the level of care falls below an acceptable level. In such an event, it will be possible to make a medical negligence claim. A solicitor specialising in this area of law will be able to provide more information. If you are successful, however, then you will be able to claim compensation for the pain and suffering you have had to endure both physically and psychologically.

Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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