Some women in Oregon elect for health reasons to have a planned cesarean section, while others find they must have one when the labor process encounters problems. Either way, a c-section is a major operation, and as such, must be done with skill and care. The following are some mistakes physicians performing a c-section can make that can harm the mother.
Mistake 1: Lacerating other organs
A woman’s uterus is near other organs in her body. This makes it possible for doctors to lacerate them when performing a c-section. For example, if the doctor lacerates the mother’s bowels and does not realize it, the bowels can leak into her body later on causing pain and infection. The bladder can also be lacerated, which could cause infection, pain and incontinence, necessitating a second operation to fix the problem.
Mistake 2: Leaving objects in the mother’s body
Like other types of operations, doctors performing a c-section will use various tools such as sponges and clamps. However, if these objects are mistakenly left in the woman’s body, and she is stitched up and sent home with these materials still inside her it can cause pain, swelling and the need for further surgeries. This is a serious medical mistake.
Mistake 3: Too much blood loss
Women who undergo a c-section lose approximately four cups of blood, which is a significant amount of blood loss for one operation. If the mother’s blood vessels are not sutured properly or if incisions are made improperly, it could lead to further blood loss. If not caught early, this could lead to postpartum hemorrhage and a subsequent blood transfusion.
Mistake 4: The formation of blood clots
Women who undergo a c-section are at a risk for developing blood clots. They must be prompted to walk after the birth. They should also be given compression stockings. If a doctor fails to inform the woman that she must walk, she could develop a blood clot. Catheters, epidurals and IVs should be removed to make it easier for the mother to walk.
Mistake 5: Anesthesia mistakes
Like other types of surgeries, a woman undergoing a c-section will need anesthesia to avoid feeling the pain of the operation. If not administered and monitored properly, this can lead to complications. It can also cause the mother to have low blood pressure. Low blood pressure can lead to fall risks, depression, confusion and nausea. What may be worse is if the mother does not receive enough anesthesia, and she feels the full pain of the procedure.
Learn more about surgical mistakes
Women anticipating a new baby may have a birth plan in place, but things can always take a dangerous turn, necessitating a c-section. We expect our physicians to practice competently and with due care in such situations, but that does not always happen. When mistakes are made, action must be taken to hold the responsible parties accountable. Our firm’s website on surgical mistakes may be a useful resource for those who want more information about their rights and options in such situations.