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Philadelphia Med Mal & Birth Injury Lawyer / Blog / Birth Injury / A Delayed C-Section is a Form of Medical Malpractice

A Delayed C-Section is a Form of Medical Malpractice


The labor and delivery process is a critical one. Any errors made during this time can have long-term consequences for a newborn baby.

As such, medical professionals are expected to monitor an infant for signs of distress and take the appropriate actions to mitigate the situation. One such action may be to order a C-section when necessary.

Failure to do so in time may be considered medical malpractice and may result in life-long consequences for the child.

When Should a Doctor Order a C-Section?

During a woman’s labor and delivery process, her doctor should monitor both her and her child for signs of distress. Examples of signs of distress in an infant may include the following:

  • An abnormally fast heart rate (tachycardia)
  • An abnormally slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Abrupt decreases in heart rate (variable decelerations)

These signs of distress are more likely to occur during a long labor and delivery process. Any labor greater than 18 hours is considered long, and it is at this time that the pressure exerted on an infant’s head may result in oxygen deprivation and subsequent brain damage.

Therefore, it is the doctor’s responsibility to remove the child from the mother’s birth canal as quickly as possible. One way to do so is with a C-section.

The failure to order a C-section in a timely manner, or the failure to order one at all, may result in permanent brain damage for the infant. Such brain damage may result in the following conditions:

  • Cerebral palsy (CP)
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)

The aforementioned consequences can be devastating for a child and their family. CP has no cure, and those with this condition often require life-long medical treatment. Additionally, HIE often causes permanent brain damage, forever altering a child’s quality of life.

Did Your Child Experience a Birth Injury? We’re Here to Help

If your child suffered an injury during the birthing process, our team is here for you. We know the devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences a birth injury can have on a child and on a family. We’re here to make sure these errors do not go unanswered.

Contact The Villari Firm, PLLC today at 267-388-9429 to schedule a free consultation with our team.

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