The Cesarean section, or C-section, is the most common surgery performed in the U.S. It is an operation that is used to deliver a baby through an incision made in the mother’s abdomen and uterus. C-sections may be required due to emergencies or complications during childbirth. In the midst of an unexpected problem, the surgeon in charge of the C-section should be calm, capable and adequately prepared. Unfortunately, mistakes and medical malpractice can occur during a C-section delivery, sometimes resulting in bladder injury.
What Can Cause a Bladder Injury During a C-Section?
The bladder is the most frequently damaged organ during OBGYN surgeries such as C-sections. A patient can be at risk of bladder injury during a C-section delivery due to the proximity of the bladder to the uterus. If the surgeon or another health care provider involved in the Cesarean section is negligent, meaning he or she falls short of the medical industry’s standards of care, the odds of a preventable bladder injury are much higher.
Common examples of mistakes or issues that can result in bladder injuries are:
The surgeon presiding over the C-section must be properly trained and prepared for the procedure. If the surgeon is careless, negligent, inattentive or makes a preventable mistake at any stage of the operation, it can result in a bladder injury.
Some patient injuries arise from negligence on the part of the hospital rather than the OBGYN or surgeon. If the hospital failed to hire competent staff, for instance, or did not keep its premises clean and sanitary, it could be held responsible for a bladder injury or infection.
Defective Medical Device
It is also possible for a defective medical device or piece of equipment to contribute to a bladder injury during a C-section delivery. This could lead to a product liability claim being brought against the manufacturer or distributor.
Factors that can increase a mother’s risk of bladder injury during a C-section are if this is not her first C-section, if it is an emergency, if there is adhesion between the organs and if the operation is performed during the second stage of labor. It is a surgeon’s responsibility to recognize the risk factors of bladder injury and to take actionable steps to reduce this risk as much as possible.
The Effects and Outcomes of a Bladder Injury
A bladder injury during a C-section delivery typically will not be life-threatening for the mother. It can, however, result in severe pain and long-term consequences that negatively impact the victim’s quality of life. An injury to the bladder during a C-section can have a wide range of health complications, including:
- Bladder puncture or laceration
- Pain or discomfort
- Loss of bladder control
- Decreased bladder retention
- Urinary tract infection
- Prolonged surgery or catheter time
- Vesicovaginal fistula, or an opening between the bladder and the wall of the vagina
- Long-term problems and increased morbidity rate
Most bladder injuries are noticed at the time of the C-section surgery. This can allow a victim to receive immediate medical treatment for the injury, which reduces the risk of serious complications and mortality. Otherwise, a victim may notice the signs of a bladder injury in the hours after a C-section, such as blood in the urine, abdominal pain or bloating, and infection. The victim may need additional revision surgeries to repair the damage.
What Are Your Rights After a Bladder Injury During a C-Section?
If you sustained a bladder injury during your C-section delivery in West Virginia, you may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against your surgeon, doctor, OBGYN, hospital, birthing center or another negligent party for medical malpractice. A successful lawsuit with the help of a West Virginia personal injury lawyer could pay you and your family for your related losses, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, medical bills, ongoing necessary medical care, and lost wages.
For more information about bringing a claim for this type of injury in West Virginia, contact Manchin Injury Law Group to request a free case consultation.