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Be aware of birth injury risk with C-sections

Many mothers in Worcester have delivered their babies by C-section. When the surgery is a medical necessity, a timely c-section is typically a safe procedure and can even save a baby's life (or that of the mother). It does carry risks, however, and there is a growing body of research showing that doctors may be performing C-sections that are unnecessary.

In the 1970s, greater capacity to monitor fetal heartbeats led to a rise in the number of babies delivered via C-section. Today, according to the Centers for Disease Control, almost one out of every three births in this country are C-sections. That high number raises some red flags among researchers, who caution that too many doctors may be performing the surgery out of habit, based on outdated information or to try to shield themselves from accusations of negligence in the event of a complicated delivery.

Unfortunately, the rise in C-section deliveries has not been accompanied by greater efforts to educate and inform mothers about the risks involved. Infection is a risk in any surgery, but mothers may also experience severe bleeding, blood clots and adverse reactions to medication. It's also possible for the baby to suffer a birth injury during the procedure, and such injuries can result in permanent disability or worse.

Parents in Worcester who are concerned that a medically unnecessary C-section may have resulted in a birth injury do have legal rights and options to consider. A legal professional can help parents in this situation decide whether pursuing a claim for compensation is the next step.

Source: CNN, "Why so many C-sections have medical groups concerned," Jen Christensen, May 8, 2014

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