C SECTION MALPRACTICE


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Improperly performed Cesarean births (C-section procedures) lead to serious birth injuries to both infants and mothers, prompting a number of birth injury medical malpractice lawsuits in Ohio and around the country. Injuries to the baby or internal injuries to mother are the most common examples of what can go wrong in C-section birthing operations.

Doctors and hospitals have been steering patients toward (C-sections) more and more frequently, to reduce the risk of errors during delivery and to avoid Postpartum deaths.

Nevertheless, physicians, nurses and hospitals continue to make mistakes that include recommending vaginal births to high-risk mothers, failing to perform timely C-sections and failing to perform the procedure correctly.

When the safety of the child is in doubt a C-section must be performed. Delayed C-section malpractice cases are more common than many people think. Doctors have a duty to act fast when there are signs of fetal distress, or the presentation and position and station of the fetus is unusual.

The Lyon Firm builds case-by-case evidence in birth injury claims through the use of obstetricians and other medical experts to present the highest quality case on the plaintiff’s behalf. Medical Negligence have been recovered medical costs and have assisted in compensation for a plaintiff’s healthy future.

Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati, Ohio Hospital Error Lawyer and Ohio birth injury lawyer, well-versed in the science and economic impact of birth injuries and c-section medical malpractice.


What is a C-Section?


A Cesarean section, also called a C-section, is a common surgical procedure whereby a child is delivered through an incision made through the birthing mother’s abdomen. A Cesarean section is a serious operation, and the procedure should only be performed when necessary.

The procedure is usually utilized when a mother or child is in danger of harm. But the operation has its risks. Some doctors will take precaution, and choose not to perform the operation, which can lead to other delivery complications.  Complications can affect both the unborn child and the mother. Bowel perforation, nerve damage, infection and blood clots can occur.


Failure to Perform C-Section Lawsuits


C-section medical malpractice can include failure to perform a C-section, as well as performing a C-section improperly. Even when a doctor recognizes that a C-section is necessary, the doctor must perform the procedure safely.

If a doctor does not perform the operation and a child or mother is injured as  result, plaintiffs may be able to file a medical malpractice  lawsuit against the doctor for a failure to perform a c-section.


Delayed C Section Malpractice


If a C-section is performed but only too late, the medical team may be liable for not acting quickly enough, and contributing to birth injuries. Birth injuries and maternal injuries can be severe and can lead to birth defects and a lifetime of health problems.

Maternal deaths have occurred as a result of C section malpractice and other childbirth complications. Hospitals and medical staff have a legal duty to perform operations in a safe manner, and when they fail to protect a child and mother, legal cation may be necessary,


What is Fetal Distress?


Medical professionals are trained to recognize delivery complications such as maternal and fetal distress. There are signs of fetal distress, and maternal complications that must be detected in a timely manner to avoid injury and potential deaths.

Recognizing the need for a C -section is part of the basic medical standard of care for OB/GYNs. Fetal distress is a primary indicator of a C-section. Symptoms of fetal distress include an irregular heartbeat, fluctuating blood pressure or umbilical cord entanglement.

Doctors should also recognize pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, placenta previa and placenta abruptio when considering a potential C-section operation. When an OB/GYN misses these indicators and orders a natural childbirth, they may likely have committed medical malpractice.


Unnecessary C-Section Medical Malpractice


Certain risk factors, such as preeclampsia, warrant a C-section. Typically, C-section procedures are considered when either the mother or fetus show signs of distress, or when the delivery process has been very long or difficult and progress is negligible.

A Cesarean section can be effective in bypassing serious complications during birth. If the fetus is in distress, a C-section is usually performed. Obstetrical nurses, technicians, and doctors have a duty to monitor the fetal condition, and decide whether or not to perform a Cesarean section. A long delay in performing a C-section can have devastating consequences.

Fetal distress, often caused by an interruption of blood flow to the fetus, is the leading indicator that a C-section is required. An emergency C-section makes it possible to deliver a baby quickly and restore oxygen flow to the baby’s brain. Without a C-section, there could be a risk of fetal brain injury, cerebral palsy and infant death.

Doctors and nurses are trained to recognize fetal distress. If you have experienced negligent monitoring and doctors fail to perform a C-section causing serious injury or death, the physician and hospital may be liable and you may have a successful medical malpractice claim.

After delivery, some mothers will develop dangerous postpartum infections, and should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Medical staff have a duty to follow up with patients to prevent any postpartum complications.


C-Section Risks For Infants & Mothers


  • Breathing Issues—Infants born by Cesarean section are more likely to develop abnormal breathing after birth. C-sections may increase the risk of respiratory distress syndrome, a condition that makes it difficult for a baby to breathe.
  • Surgical Error—Cuts to your baby’s skin can occur
  • Delivering too late—deprives infant of oxygen
  • Bowel Laceration to birthing mother
  • Bladder Injury to mother
  • Blood Loss
  • Retained Medical Instruments
  • Inflammation and Infection of Uterus–Endometriosis
  • Reactions to Anesthesia
  • Blood Clots—The risk of developing a blood clot is greater after a C-section than after a vaginal delivery
  • Wound infection
  • Increased risks in future pregnancies
  • Uterine rupture—Uterine rupture is a life-threatening emergency.
  • Low Blood pressure

Delivery Malpractice Lawyer 


When birthing women lose too much blood, their organs shut down. Their high blood pressure may also go untreated, raising the risk of strokes. Women die of blood clots and untreated infections, and may face permanent injury if they survive.

Each year, about 700 mothers die in the U.S. There is no national tracking system for childbirth complications, but victims can file injury suits against negligent hospitals and physicians to help alert the public of the health crisis.

After studies and interviews with hospital management, it was found during a USA Today investigation that in some hospitals, fewer than half of maternity patients were promptly treated for dangerous blood pressure that put them at risk of stroke.

Many hospitals across the country also admitted that they were not taking safety steps such as quantifying women’s blood loss or high blood pressure. It seems it is not the highest priority for some to act on signs of serious complications during pregnancy and after delivery.

The American Hospital Association, a trade association representing nearly 5,000 hospitals and health networks, has held training sessions aimed at getting maternity hospitals to improve care. But birth injuries are still occurring at a very high rate.


Cesarean Section Malpractice


The Lyon Firm builds evidence in birth injury and c-section medical malpractice cases through the use of obstetricians and medical experts to present the highest quality case on plaintiff’s behalf. This work has resulted in large settlements that recovered medical costs and assisted in supplementing compensation for a plaintiff’s future.

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Why are these cases important?

 When management or individuals fail to provide a sufficient level of care, victims may seek legal recourse and file suit against the negligent parties. Medical malpractice lawsuits improve the quality of healthcare by holding physicians and hospitals responsible when they fall below a professional standard of care. 

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Questions about Medical Malpractice

Can I File A Lawsuit?

Each birth injury case and instance of hospital negligence is different and must be investigated. Medical records and testimony can provide insights into the root cause of a birth injury. The Lyon Firm works with medical experts to bring legal action when necessary.

If you have been injured in a childbirth injury or your child has suffered, The Lyon Firm will review your case. Once your medical goals have been discussed following a birth injury, it is crucial to set up a plan to help pay for the medical costs associated with the birth injury in question.

Obtaining a settlement is not an easy task but an experienced attorney can assist you in a big way. Once the lawsuit is filed, an attorney can present your case with evidence and testimony in the discovery phase, which will begin the settlement process.

What is an Apgar Score?

Apgar tests are performed on infants one minute after birth and five minutes after birth. The first test is done to examine how the child handled the birthing process, whereas the second test is done to see how the child is fairing outside of the mother’s womb.

The minimum score a baby can obtain is a zero and the maximum is ten; the test consists of five categories and the baby is ranked 0-2 for each category (zero for negative results and two for excellent results). The five categories measure:

  • breathing effort;
  • heart rate;
  • muscle tone;
  • reflex/grimace response;
  • skin color.

Initially, the Apgar test was assumed to be independent of a child’s future health; the tests were mere indications of how an infant was getting acclimated with surviving on his own and whether or not any appropriate medical procedures needed to be ordered.

However, a recent study and article produced by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) indicates that a lower Apgar score during the five-minute test is related to higher death rates for neonatal infants (immediate post birth) and post-neonatal infants (one month to one year after birth).

Specifically, it was found that infants who scored 0-3 on their five-minute Apgar test had a 35 percent chance of death within the first week after birth, a 3 percent chance of death between 7-28 days of birth, and a 5 percent chance of death within one year of birth. Deaths were typically a result of anoxia or asphyxia (types of suffocation).

The study produced by the NEJM was conducted in Scotland and consisted of one million births between 1992 and 2010. Another study produced in 2013 by the Public Library of Science (PLoS) revealed similar implications.

According to this study, within one month of birth, 58% of babies who scored a one on the Apgar did not survive, 33 percent of babies who scored a two on the Apgar did not survive, and 19% of all babies who scored a three on the Apgar did not survive.  The mortality rate for babies who initially received low Apgar scores, but lived past one month of life decreased astoundingly.

After surviving past one month, only 3 percent of babies who scored a one did not survive over a year, 3% of babies who scored a two did not survive over a year, and 4% of babies who scored a three did not survive.

These results are analogous with those from the NEJM; while the mortality rate is high within the first month of birth for infants with low Apgar scores, it decreases significantly after the first month.

What is Bradycardia?

Bradycardia is the slowing of the heart rate below for a ten minute period. If a baby has severe bradycardia, their brain may not be getting enough oxygen. Brain damage begins within 10 minutes.

The variability in oxygen deprivation will vary, depending on the fetal reserve. If an infant has a full fetal oxygen reserve, it will take a longer bradycardia to result in a brain injury or birth injury. Generally, if a baby can be delivered within 10 minutes after a bradycardia, the child will not suffer birth injury.

What is Tachycardia?

Tachycardia is the opposite of bradycardia, and describes when a heart rate is greater than 150-160 beats per minute. A sustained heart rate above 150 can suggest the possibility of fetal distress because a primary cause of tachycardia is oxygen deprivation. A normal fetal heart rate is somewhere between 115 and 150.

What Are Declarations?

Decelerations are drops in the fetal heart rate. Some decelerations are considered normal, but still the fetus loses oxygen during each deceleration. Repeated decelerations may lead to acidosis, hypoxia, and ischemia, and ultimately birth injury.

What Prescriptions Are Linked with Birth Defects?

Children are incredibly vulnerable to dangerous prescription drugs while developing in a mother’s womb. Unfortunately, several medications may interfere with proper development and contribute to various types of physical and mental birth defects. Some of these medications include the following:

  • •    SSRIs: antidepressants including Paxil, Lexapro, Effexor, Prozac, and Zoloft
    •    PPIs (prescription antacids): include Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid
    •    Accutane
    •    Cholesterol-controlling statins: Crestor
    •    Depakote
    •    Topamax (topiramate)
Why hire the Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

 Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury. Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results in personal injury,  automotive product liability, medical Negligence, construction accidents, and auto dealership negligence cases.  The cases have involved successfully litigating against some of  the largest companies in the world

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A recently published study titled, A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care, estimated that 210,000 hospital patients die each year from medical mistakes that could have been prevented.

This places medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Further, the Office of The Inspector General estimated 180,000 deaths per year are due to medical mistakes. And a Study from Journal of Patient Safety estimated that the number of preventable deaths is between 210,000 and 440,000.

Incredibly, the Wrong Site Surgery Project Study found that national incidence of wrong site surgeries, which includes wrong patient, wrong procedure, wrong site and wrong side surgeries, may be as high as 40 per week. 

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law. 

FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE BOWEL OBSTRUCTION

WRONGFUL DEATH

(Cincinnati, Ohio):  Confidential settlement for a family due to a wrongful death. An emergency room physician failed to recognize the common symptoms associated with bowel obstruction and prescribed a contraindicated medicine of GoLytley.  The patient died at home the day of discharge after taking the medication. The case against the emergency room physician was resolved by settlement following extensive discovery. The settlement was paid to the spouse and surviving adult children for the loss of their mother. While no amount of money could bring back their mother, the case provided answers and held the hospital accountable.

FAILURE TO DIAGNOSE BREAST CANCER

$910,000 Settlement.

(Cincinnati, Ohio):   Joe Lyon was second chair in a case involving the failure of a physician to promptly communicate a positive breast cancer result to a patient. As a result of the delay, the cancer progressed from in situ carcinoma to stage 3B with lymph node involvement. The treatment required mastectomy and radiation/ chemotherapy rather than a simple excision. The case settled after extensive discovery. The defense argued: “the patient should have called the physician.” The settlement provided recovery for suffering through a misdiagnosis and the loss of a spouse and a mother. While the settlement cannot bring this wonderful woman back, it helped her family move forward with life’s challenges and encouraged  future accountability.

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