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What could go wrong during a "routine" C-section?

For the majority of your pregnancy, you envisioned having your baby the old-fashioned way. Then, for some reason, your obstetrician told you that you would need a C-section.

Whether your doctor planned the procedure or it occurred due to an emergency during your labor, you found yourself facing major surgery. Make no mistake, as common as C-sections are, they're still major surgical procedures that come with risks to you and your baby. Medical negligence could easily occur and cause harm to you or your baby.

These complications and risks apply to you

When thinking about birth injuries, you may be like other mothers here in Chicago and elsewhere whose thoughts automatically go to the baby, but you could suffer significant harm as well. The risks and complications you face include the following:

  • You could lose a lot of blood, also referred to as hemorrhaging.
  • You could develop a blood clot that could work its way to your heart, brain or other location in your body.
  • Your intestines or bladder could suffer damage during the procedure.
  • You could suffer from internal bleeding.
  • You could have an adverse reaction to the anesthesia.
  • You could contract a life-threatening infection.
  • You could develop sepsis as a result of an out-of-control infection.
  • You may suffer from an amniotic embolism, which means that fetal material or amniotic fluid works its way into your bloodstream.
  • You may suffer from inflammation of your uterus.

Any of these complications of a C-section could put your life at risk. You may need one or more additional surgeries to correct a mistake. You might end up in the ICU fighting for your life. It's possible that the harm you suffered resulted from negligence on the part of your medical team.

These complications and risks apply to your baby

Your baby is much safer during this procedure than you are, but he or she could still suffer harm. The primary concern is that your baby could experience difficulty breathing. This happens often when the C-section occurs prior to 39 weeks or before labor since labor facilitates the expulsion of fluid from your baby's lungs. This condition should clear up on its own within days.

Your baby could also suffer an adverse reaction to the anesthesia given to you. Accidental scrapes and nicks could occur during the procedure as well. These are the more common and benign injuries your baby could suffer. On occasion, the circumstances are much more dire and life-threatening to the baby. Again, negligence could have occurred.

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