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Lacerations most common injuries in C-section deliveries


The birth of a baby is an event typically full of emotion for everyone involved. Sometimes, though, what should be joy turns to horror when something goes wrong.

Among the worst nightmares for an expectant couple is a birth injury that occurs as part of the delivery. These are occasionally seen with cesarean births.

Fetal lacerations are the most common injuries that occur during C-section deliveries and can in some cases result in amputations of limbs, penetrating wounds to vulnerable organs and scars that will last an infant's lifetime.

According to medical experts, surgeons traditionally perform C-sections using a scalpel to cut through the mother's womb in order to reach the baby. Sometimes, however, they cut too deeply and injure the baby. Although most of the time these errors leave an ugly but ultimately harmless cut on the baby, three percent of fetal lacerations go deeper and are likely to endanger an infant permanently.

Because of this risk, a new device called C-Safe has been introduced to reduce birth injuries from fetal lacerations. C-safe allows doctors to perform cesarean section deliveries without injuring babies. A unique safety feature - a blade that faces up and away from the baby - prevents the cutting edge from contacting any part of the baby.

Although devices such as this one are available to keep babies from being injured during birth, doctors and other health care professionals still must be attentive and highly focused when they perform such procedures. These professionals undergo many years of training to provide adequate care and treatment to their patients. If they fail to provide that care, they become responsible for any birth injuries or complications that result.

Birth injuries that result from a doctor's mistake or hospital error can be emotionally damaging to victims and families. Victims, however, can seek compensation if they believe negligence led to the injuries. Compensation for medical expenses and other costs may be recovered through a medical malpractice claim.

Source: CBS Local, "Health: new way to reduce risk of injuries at birth," Stephanie Stahl, June 26, 2013

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