When women cannot give birth via normal vaginal delivery, a Cesarean Section or C-section will have to be performed. A C-section is a medical procedure wherein the surgeon makes an incision is the mother’s abdomen and uterus to remove the baby from her womb.
Cesarean sections are major invasive surgeries with their own set of risks, and even under the most sterile condition, they greatly increase your chance for infection during or after giving birth.
Risk of Infection
Cesarean sections are often scheduled in advance to avoid anticipated complications with vaginal delivery. But sometimes, an emergency C-section must be performed due to complications that arise while attempting to deliver vaginally.
Emergency C-sections are far more likely to be complicated by infection than planned C-sections. And overall, women giving birth by C-section are 20% more likely to develop an infection than those who deliver vaginally.
Infection can occur immediately after delivery or anytime within the first few weeks of recovery. Most infections, however, don’t come up until after the patient has been discharged from the hospital and gone home. So, It’s very important to allow yourself time to heal. Don’t push it, or you could prolong your recovery for months.
Types of Infections
C-section infection often occurs when bacteria cause a toxic condition known as septicemia, which then enters the bloodstream at the site of your cesarean incision. This occurs in about to about 5% percent of all C-section patients and more often in women who either:
- Suffer from diabetes
- Have an autoimmune disease
- Experiencing complications with pregnancy such as high blood pressure
- Live in an underdeveloped country
C-sections can also lead to endometriosis, which is an infection of the uterus. This occurs in about 5% of women who have an emergency C-section and can be prevented by administering intravenous doses of antibiotic after the child has been delivered.
Other types of infections that can occur after a C-section include:
- Pseudomonas – often acquired by high-risk hospital patients and can cause a greenish-blue discharge in or around the area of the surgical incision.
- E. Coli – also infecting your incision and often requiring stronger antibiotics to fight. Manifestations include diarrhea and various flu-like symptoms.
- Cellulitis – common skin bacteria infect the tissue beneath the skin around the site of your surgery causing swelling and other potentially dangerous consequences.
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) – causes a pain or a burning sensation when urinating and can present serious complication if it reaches your kidneys.
- Bladder infections – normally not serious, but can lead to kidney infections and permanent kidney damage if not treated right away.
To ensure the health of both mother and child, physicians must be on the lookout for signs that a Cesarean may be necessary and respond appropriately. If they fail to perform a C-section when it is required or fail to adhere to surgical protocol while performing the procedure, there can be serious, sometimes deadly, consequences for both mother and child.
How We Can Help
If you or your newborn child has suffered any injury as a result of a medical staff’s failure to perform a C-section or to respond to any complications associated with the procedure, you may have the right to seek compensatory damages by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit or claim against those responsible.
For more information or to speak with a skilled Missouri medical malpractice attorney regarding injuries to you or your child, contact Carey, Danis & Lowe. Our attorneys have decades of legal experience, and we are dedicated to seeing justice served. Call us now at (314) 725-7700 or filling out our contact form to get started.