The Law Offices of John Phebus

Unnecessary C-sections increase risk of fatal medical errors

Invasive surgery introduces multiple risks, including infection, surgical error and side effects from follow-up medications. In the case of C-sections, which is the most common surgery in the U.S., women can also experience scarring, severe pain and other complications. While necessary in some cases, researchers have found nearly half of these procedures were unwarranted. Women of childbearing age in Arizona can take steps to limit their risk of being subjected to this unnecessary and possibly dangerous birth intervention.

Studies have found that about one out of three babies in the U.S. is delivered by C-section. The application of this surgery, and hence the risk of personal injury or death during birth, was also found to vary dramatically between hospitals. An assistant professor at Harvard confirmed that busier hospitals are more likely to have higher C-section rates.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued recommendations in 2014 aimed at eliminating unnecessary C-sections, which could stem an increase in medical malpractice claims. At that time, research demonstrated an increase in personal injury and maternal deaths seen in the years when the cesarean rate was increasing. It further showed that women with low-risk pregnancies undergoing their first C-sections had triple the risk of severe injury and death versus vaginal births.

Despite its commonality, surgical birth intervention is highly invasive and, hence, potentially deadly to mothers. Families whose loved ones sustained personal injuries, were victims of fatal medical errors or died from subsequent infections will experience pain and suffering from not only grief but also medical bills and a desire to prevent others from going through the same thing. Even women with low-risk pregnancies are often subjected to needless surgeries, which leaves them with higher medical bills at a time when few can afford it. Those who suspect they were given unnecessary C-sections may want to consult with experienced attorneys about filing medical malpractice cases so they can receive settlements to cover their medical expenses.

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