A Cesarean section, or C-section, is a serious medical procedure that is necessary in certain situations. Unfortunately, however, some healthcare workers order C-sections out of convenience rather than necessity. Below, we discuss three legitimate reasons to order a C-section, and three irresponsible reasons.
When to Order a C-Section
A C-section is a surgical procedure that delivers a baby through incisions in the abdomen and uterus, rather than via the birth canal. Sometimes, the circumstances of the mother’s health or the progression of the birth calls for a C-section in order to protect the health of the mother and the baby. Three legitimate reasons to order a C-section include:
A woman’s labor isn’t progressing. Labor longer than 18 hours is considered long, and it is at this point that serious risks arise for the mother and the baby. A stalled labor is one of the most common reasons for a C-section.
The baby is in an abnormal position. If a baby is in an abnormal position, such as in breech position where the feet are turned downward instead of the head, a C-section may be required to make the birth possible.
The baby is in medical distress. Long labors can exert a toll on an infant’s vital signs. Healthcare workers often order C-sections if they are concerned about changes in the infant’s heartbeat or other vital signs.
When Not to Order a C-Section
Approximately one-third of babies born in the United States are delivered via C-section. This number has increased over time, and it may not be for good reason. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), C-sections are usually necessary 10-15% of the time. So, why does the American healthcare system conduct C-sections at a rate twice that? The following reasons may paint the picture:
To speed up a woman’s delivery. Hospitals are notorious for being understaffed. This often means that patients are ushered through the system as quickly as possible in order to meet the demand for medical services. A C-section may get a woman through the system hours faster than a stalled vaginal delivery.
To receive more money for the procedure. Some healthcare workers who perform C-sections get paid approximately 15% more for the procedure than they do for vaginal deliveries. While it’s difficult to imagine that our healthcare workers would put financial incentives above our health, we must remember that they are humans too, and all humans have ulterior motives from time to time.
To avoid risk. Many hospitals take patient safety to the extreme by ordering unnecessary procedures that will lessen the time a patient needs critical medical attention, like during a prolonged labor. However, this may end up having the opposite effect, as a C-section could introduce new risks a woman would not face during a vaginal delivery.
Injured During Labor and Delivery? Contact Us Today
Not all women receive the high-quality medical care they expect from healthcare workers while giving birth. Sometimes, they may receive unnecessary procedures that are beneficial to healthcare workers, but detrimental to them.
If you or someone you love was harmed while giving birth, our Miami medical malpractice attorneys are here to help. Our firm is committed to holding negligent healthcare workers accountable for their actions, and we may be able to help you obtain justice.
Call Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen at (866) 629-1061 to schedule a free consultation.