VBAC – How An Albany Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help
The personal injury attorneys at Powers & Santola, LLP., do not endorse one form of delivery over another. The decision whether to have a vaginal delivery or a caesarian section, after a mother has had a prior caesarian section, is a decision that should be made by the mother and her doctor, after due consideration of the medical risks.
As medical malpractice attorneys, we see many clients who have suffered serious consequences as a result of vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC). We feel it is important to present a different view of the relevant medical studies so parents can understand the real risks of VBAC before they attempt a vaginal birth.
Between 1970 and 1995, the c-section rate increased from 5 percent to 24.7 percent. Because of a concern that the uterus could tear apart at the site of a previous c-section incision, mothers who had prior c-sections were advised against later vaginal deliveries.
Believing that the rate of c-sections was too high, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists began to encourage a “trial of labor,” allowing an expectant mother to choose whether she would try to deliver her baby vaginally. When discussing this option, doctors often told expectant mothers that:
- Most medical studies reported that 60 to 80 percent of all “trials of labor” after a c-section resulted in a successful vaginal birth.
- VBAC avoided the risks associated with surgery (infection, anesthesia risk, blood transfusions, longer hospital stays).
- If the mother’s condition was carefully monitored, a uterine tear or rupture could be promptly identified and the child could be delivered by c-section.
In theory, the risks associated with a VBAC were not much greater than the risks associated with a c-section. However, something very important was lacking from this conversation — consideration of how hospitals actually operate.
Most hospitals do not have an operating room or medical staff on stand-by. It takes up to 30 minutes from the time a doctor orders an emergency c-section until the surgery actually starts. This delay can be critical.
When a uterus begins to rupture, the baby’s oxygen supply is immediately reduced or completely cut off. Even a 15-minute delay in performing an emergency c-section can result in permanent brain injury or death. Uterine rupture is also dangerous for the mother, who may suffer massive blood loss. She may also lose her uterus.
If you were injured or suffered the loss of a child because you were not informed of the risks of VBAC, talk to one of the Albany medical malpractice attorneys at Powers & Santola, LLP about your potential birth injury lawsuit. Our lawyers offer sound legal advice and honest answers in a free consultation.