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Complications of Vaginal Birth After Previous C-Sections

Medical Negligence Attorneys Representing Patients in Baltimore

With advances in medicine, both vaginal deliveries and C-sections tend to be reasonably safe for a mother and a child. Overall, a vaginal delivery is less risky than a C-section. If your baby or you were injured due to a medical professional’s negligence in a vaginal birth after a C-section, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore birth injury lawyers are dedicated to helping malpractice victims pursue the compensation that they deserve for their harm. With years of experience, we understand how to navigate these complex claims.

Understanding Malpractice Involving a Vaginal Birth Following a Previous C-Section

If you became pregnant after a previous C-section, your doctor should take certain precautions to make sure that your pregnancy and labor are safe. A cesarean, or C-section, is a surgical birth in which a doctor cuts into the mother’s abdomen, reaches inside the body, and manually delivers the baby. Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) refers to a natural childbirth after a delivery by a C-section. According to the Mayo Clinic, about 60-80 percent of women who attempt a VBAC have a successful vaginal delivery. In the remaining 20-40 percent, an emergency C-section is often needed after an attempt at vaginal delivery.

Pregnant women who have previously had a C-section may have a scar on the uterus that has a slight risk of breaking open during labor, known as uterine rupture. While rare, this type of rupture can be life-threatening. Due to the weakness of the C-section scar, uterine ruptures are more than twice as likely in VBAC births compared to ordinary vaginal births. A number of factors can influence VBAC risk, such as the size of the mother’s pelvis, the reason for the prior C-section, and the size and position of the fetus. As a result, women with risk factors for uterine rupture should not attempt a VBAC. A competent doctor should determine if the mother was a good candidate for a VBAC and watch for signs of uterine rupture. In addition, doctors should be prepared to do an emergency C-section, if required.

A doctor’s failure to properly assess and select an appropriate option for a mother can constitute birth injury malpractice when it results in an injury to the child or mother. Under Maryland law, malpractice is a legal term for injuries that take place when a medical professional deviates from the professional standard of care that they are supposed to use. Put another way, malpractice takes place when a medical professional causes harm by failing to use the level of care that another medical professional in the same specialty would have used in the same or similar circumstances. For example, if you suffered harm because your doctor failed to perform an emergency C-section when it was needed, that doctor will likely be liable for malpractice.

It is important to note that Maryland medical malpractice claims need to be filed within a certain time, known as the statute of limitations. Birth injury cases are more complex than other types of malpractice cases involving adults. Under state law, your attorney must commence a lawsuit by the time that your child turns 11 years of age. However, there are two exceptions to this rule. If the injury involved your child’s reproductive health, or a foreign object was negligently left inside the child’s body, the statute of limitations extends to the child’s 16th birthday.

Contact a Knowledgeable Malpractice Lawyer in the Baltimore Area

If you have suffered a serious injury due to medical malpractice during a vaginal birth after a previous C-section, you should reach out to a Baltimore attorney without delay. At Arfaa Law Group, we are committed to serving the needs of our clients at every step of the way. We understand that dealing with the consequences of malpractice can be extremely daunting, but we will make the process as seamless as possible for you. We proudly represent clients throughout the state of Maryland. Give us a call at 410-889-1850 or contact us online to start discussing your case.