Delay In C-Section

How A Delay Or Failure To Perform A C-Section Can Lead To HIE

One of the main causes of a birth injury and an HIE diagnosis can be due to the failure, or delay in performing a C-Section. There are many factors which go into making the determination as to whether to perform a C-Section and when the procedure should be done. Doctors must pay close attention to mother and baby during the labor and delivery. In some cases, the mother’s medical history will be an important factor to be weighed in determining the proper course of treatment.

Injuries can occur when doctors fail to identify information that alerts them to act, and they do not act. A main area of concern is when the baby’s fetal heart monitor strips display that the baby is no longer handling the vaginal delivery and there is a failure to perform a C-Section, or there is a delay in performing the procedure. Standard of care issues will present themselves if a reasonable and prudent doctor, under the same set of circumstances, would have acted in a different way than the treating doctor, and this departure from the standard of care is what caused the injury in baby and/or mom.

The type of medical event the doctors are facing will determine whether there is a need for a C-Section. Injury can occur when doctors should rescue the baby but instead decide to prolong mother’s labor or have her to continue to “bear down” and push through with a vaginal delivery. In addition, injury can also occur when doctors allow the labor and delivery to go on too long, and then decide to perform a C-Section. In these cases, sometimes the birth injury has already occurred, and the injury is due to the delay in performing the C-Section.


Why Is The Electronic Fetal Heart Monitor Important In A C-Section Analysis?

The electronic fetal heart monitor (EFM) is a device used during labor and delivery to help determine the wellbeing of the baby. One of the important things that the EFM does is monitor the baby’s heart beats and rhythm, and the mother’s contractions, among other things. As mother goes through labor and delivery, the EFM will display the reading on a strip. In some cases, the doctors and nurses might make notes on the strip to help with monitoring.

One of the common ways in which the EFM is done using an ultrasound transducer attached to the mother’s abdomen. The transducer sends readings to a machine which records the printout of the baby’s heartbeats and the mother’s contractions. From these readings, doctors and nurses can determine the health and wellbeing of the baby.

When Should Doctors Perform A C-Section?

The type of medical situation the doctor is dealing with will determine if a C-Section is needed. Therefore, early detection of possible medical issues and good attention to mother and baby go a long way to help prevent injury. Below are some of the conditions which can require a C-Section:


Uterine Rupture (link Uterine Rupture): Uterine rupture is when the uterus detaches. This is a serious medical emergency in the delivery room because it can lead to massive blood loss in the mother. This blood loss can then result in a decrease in the blood and oxygen for the baby, causing a brain injury.


Failure Of The Labor & Delivery To Progress: As the bullet point suggests, mother does not move through the stages of labor.


Cord Prolapse (link Cord Prolapse): A cord prolapse occurs when the umbilical cord is delivered before the baby. Umbilical cord compression is a serious threat of injury to the baby, which can lead to a brain injury.


Placenta Previa: When the placenta covers the cervix, this is called placenta previa.


Placental Abruption (link Placental Abruption): Placental abruption occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterus. Again, this is a medical emergency which can lead to a brain injury in the baby.

Why We Care

The HIE Resource Place is a website owned and operated by Boston Law Group, LLC. We are birth trauma legal professionals who help families gain an understanding into the world of HIE. This website is a continuation of our mission (more than 200k views on our YouTube educational video channel) to provide families with an avenue to learn more about their baby’s HIE condition from a medical legal standpoint.

It has been our experience that for many families, when a baby is diagnosed with HIE, there are many questions. From how did the HIE diagnosis occur, to what do we do now, families can experience fear and isolation due to “not knowing what’s next.”

Please use this website to expand your understanding of HIE from a medical legal standpoint and do not hesitate to contact us regarding your questions. If you are wondering, you only pay our legal fees if we win for you and your family. We can be reached for a free discussion and talk about your baby’s story at 1-833-4HIEHELP or 1-833-444-3435.