Caesarean section numbers indicate rise in birth injuries

With the news that the number of babies born by Caesarean section in 2008-09 was static at a quarter of all births, there is renewed controversy over the health implications for mothers and the possibility of birth injuries occurring with this procedure.

The rate compared with normal births in England and Wales is around double that recommended by the World Health Organisation and has been increasing over the past 25 years. The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is among the groups calling for action to be taken to reduce the figure.

The chances of a woman needing a hysterectomy are more than tripled after a Caesarean section. Among other problems for mother and baby which may occur are blood clots, infant breathing problems and an increased mortality rate.

Of nearly 155,000 operations, almost 15% were unplanned procedures, according to figures from the NHS Information Centre. There was a wide geographical variation in numbers throughout the country with London hospitals having the highest rate of emergencies.

It has been suggested that improved training of junior doctors in carrying out instrumental births, such as using forceps or a ventouse, to help deliver a baby when the second stage of labour is prolonged would reduce the number of Caesarean sections being performed.

However, there is evidence that the number of emergency operations is linked to health problems of mothers, including obesity, and their socio-economic group.

Whether a Caesarean operation has been planned or is the result of a medical emergency, in the vast majority of cases, mother and baby are completely well after a Caesarean operation, however, potential complications can arise immediately after the birth and in the recovery period and in that unfortunate event, there may be long-term implications for the health of parent and child.

If you or your baby have been harmed as a result of a Caesarean section operation, whether elective or as a result of an emergency, you may be entitled to make a claim.

The clinical negligence experts at JMW Solicitors have many years of experience in representing parents and children and have made many successful claims.

JMW Solicitors has one of the most professional and respected clinical negligence teams in the UK. We are able to deal with cases using public funding (formerly Legal Aid) or no win no fee in appropriate cases. If after talking to us you decide not to take matters further, you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged for our initial advice session.

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