A caesarian section, what doctors usually refer to as a C-section, is a major surgery; it comes all the complications of other types of surgeries. Unlike most other surgeries, however, this one usually involves the additional challenge of caring for a baby during recovery. In some cases, medical negligence and improper aftercare instructions can lead to C-section infections, which can require additional treatment and hospitalization for new mothers.
A medical malpractice attorney can help you determine who is liable for your injuries, what damages you can claim, and the available evidence that proves that the medical professional breached his or her duty of care. For the best possible outcome and access to resources, obtain the services of a personal injury lawyer.
What Is a C-Section Infection?
A cesarean section is a surgical procedure to deliver a baby when vaginal birth is not possible or safe for the mother and/or baby. Doctors make an incision in the abdomen to safely remove the baby during this procedure. While expectant mothers, especially those that have had a C-section before, can request a C-section beforehand, the need for many first-time procedures does not become obvious until the later stages of labor.
Since C-sections involve a wound site, they require proper aftercare, cleaning, and treatment. Sometimes, the mother does not receive this care and an infection can occur. Usually, bacteria cause this infection to fester around the incision site. C-section infections can lead to life-threatening complications and need for additional treatment.
Symptoms of C-Section Infections
When you experience any of these symptoms following a C-section birth, it is likely that you have a C-section infection. Speak to a doctor immediately if you notice any of the following signs.
- Redness at the incision site
- Bleeding with large blood clots
- Fever between 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit to 103 degrees Fahrenheit
- Sensitivity at the wound site
- Excessive vaginal bleeding that soaks through a pad or tampon within an hour
- Severe pain in the lower abdomen
- Pain and/or swelling in the leg
- Swelling at the incision site
- Pain at the incision site that worsens or lasts for a long time
- Pain during urination
- Pus discharge at the incision site
- Vaginal discharge with a foul odor
Complications of C-Section Infections
Certain types of C-section infections can lead to complications and risks. Doctors can classify C-section infections under one of the following categories.
- Inflamed tissue underneath the skin spreads throughout the incision to nearby skin.
- Fungus that causes yeast infections and sores in mothers with weakened immune systems.
- Wound or abdominal abscess. Leads to pus, redness, swelling, and sensitivity along the incision site.
C-section infections can lead to significant medical issues for the mother, requiring lifelong treatment or even resulting in death. Several common C-section infection complications exist.
- Blood clots
- Necrotizing fasciitis, or the death of healthy tissue due to bacterial infections
- Evisceration of the bowel through the opening of the wound
- Ruptured fascia, which opens the skin and tissue layers that the doctor sutured after the procedure
- Urinary tract and bladder infections
Medical Negligence and C-Section Infections
If a surgeon or doctor does not properly clean the incision site, use sterilized equipment while performing a procedure, or does not provide or administer proper aftercare and aftercare instructions, C-section infections can occur. These actions indicate a breach in the standard of care new mothers expect from their doctors. As a result, the mother may file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the responsible medical professional for the injuries she sustained due to the infection.
In Pennsylvania, you need to prove three factors to have grounds for a medical malpractice suit.
- That you and the doctor had a doctor-patient relationship and he or she owed you a standard of care.
- That the doctor breached the standard of care by performing any action that a similarly trained and educated medical professional would know not to do: improper procedure, use of unsanitary equipment, improper aftercare, failure to provide aftercare, etc.
- That the breach of care led to your injuries or illnesses, and you suffered losses due to these injuries.