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South Florida Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Is State’s C-Section Rate Too High?

According to the latest state figures, in the year ending June 30, 2008 Florida ranked #2 in the nation for the most cesarean deliveries. According to some obstetricians, these figures are a little high, especially considering that C-sections are more likely than natural births to lead to medical side effects and complications. In South Florida alone, C-sections made up 41% of the births in Palm Beach County and 43% of the births in Broward County. Yet some South Florida doctors deliver 75% of their babies by C-section. At Holy Cross Hospital in Ft. Lauderdale and Palms West Hospital in Loxahatchee, 50% of deliveries are by cesarean. One reason for the rise in C-section births is that hospitals and obstetricians in South Florida are worried that they could be sued for medical malpractice if anything goes wrong during delivery. Most doctors won’t allow a woman to deliver a baby naturally if she’s already had a C-section. Mothers that are obese or that are suffering from diabetes or other health issues are normally urged to undergo C-sections. Multiple births and breech births are often performed via cesarean. Doctors and parents may even opt to have a C-section delivery in order to accommodate their busy schedules—picking out the most convenient date for the baby’s birth. Yet while cesarean births may prevent certain immediate risks, other side effects could come into play. Babies delivered by C-section may end up in intensive care, and anesthesia reactions and infections from the surgery can occur. Moms that deliver by C-section more than once risk abnormal placental growth that could lead to complications. According to Boston University School of Public Health researcher Eugene Declercq, some doctors that perform C-section deliveries would be hard pressed to offer medical reasons for why they did not deliver the babies naturally. Some insurance companies are even calling on doctors to ease up on the number of C-section births because of the expense and the possibility of future complications. Obstetricians and gynecologists, like other medical providers, can be held liable for medical malpractice if error or negligence led to a baby getting hurt or suffering from health problems. Examples of complications that can lead to a birthing malpractice claim include: • C-section complications • Preeclampsia • A ruptured uterine • Toxemia • Forceps injury • Failure to properly monitor the fetal heart rate • Failure to perform C-section as soon as it is needed • Errors involving vacuum extraction South Florida C-section rates too high, Examiner.com, June 9, 2009 Related Web Resources: Understanding C-Sections, Parents.com Repeat Cesareans May Put Babies At Risk, EmaxHealth.com, June 10, 2009

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