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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    397

    Default C-Section Consent

    My question involves medical malpractice in the state of: California

    So I had my baby last May. My plan (which I know can go awry and you can't really plan for childbirth), was to deliver vaginally with an epidural when I can't take the pain.
    I woke up the morning of my delivery with leaking fluid. I went into L&D and they admitted me. They tested the fluid which came back as amniotic. So they kept me and monitored. My contractions were not consistent in strength or time. After about 6 hours, I broke down and got an epidural. After that, the nurses kept on checking on me and gave me Pitocin. (I DO NOT remember giving consent to giving me Pitocin).
    After they gave me that, my babys heart beat dropped to where they had to give me an emergency c-section. It turns out that Pitocin can cause a reduce heart rate.

    I went today and got my medical records. In there it states that I gave them permission to give me a c-section. It does not include my signature for it, and I honestly don't remember stating this. But I do remember them telling me that I HAVE to have it done.

    Turns out, my bags of waters was not broken, it was torn. Because of that, my body didn't go into the normal cycle of childbirth. In my records it states that it ruptured....

    I have a lot of emotion in regards to all of this. I wasn't the one to welcome my baby into this world. I didn't see her the first, I didn't hear her first cries.

    I still have pain in my incision area. I have a raised and ugly scar. There is numbness down there.

    What are my options?

    ************************************************** ************

    I also have another question. My baby was born with a congenital heart condition. They found it in the 20 week ultrasound. They did not inform me of this information. I was bombarded by the cardiologist once she was born. Can I do anything about this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    75,934

    Default Re: C-Section Consent

    So far, all you've told us is that due to a medical crisis with the baby you had to have an emergency C-section, and that you may have given oral consent but don't recall whether or not you gave consent. So it appears (a) this was a medically valid decision, (b) it resulted in the birth of a healthy baby, (c) your post-surgical experiences are well within the realm of "normal", and (d) you may have consented to all of the above.

    I'm not sure what you are asking in relation to the child's heart condition. The hospital didn't cause that condition. You don't get to sue a hospital merely because your baby has a congenital heart defect.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,132

    Default Re: C-Section Consent

    This is your first child, isn't it?


    Turns out, my bags of waters was not broken, it was torn. Because of that, my body didn't go into the normal cycle of childbirth. In my records it states that it ruptured....
    Yup, it was ruptured. Ruptured doesn't mean the bag suddenly popped and there was a big splash and OMGCONTRACTIONS like you see on TV. Ruptured means the membrane was no longer intact. And in fact, whether or not your membranes break spontaneously has absolutely nothing to do with how your labor begins OR progresses. For example, I presented with both of my boys at 10cm, membranes bulging, but refusing to break. Doc had to break them both times.

    I have a lot of emotion in regards to all of this. I wasn't the one to welcome my baby into this world. I didn't see her the first, I didn't hear her first cries.
    That's to be expected with an emergency c-section. On the bright side, your daughter is alive. Which is more important: living baby, or hearing her very first cry? What is your concern here?

    I still have pain in my incision area. I have a raised and ugly scar. There is numbness down there.
    Also to be expected, as you had major surgery. Bodies are stupid and they don't always heal quickly. Take some extra vitamin C, some L-Glutamine every day, and rub the scar with vitamin E oil - the first two encourage tissue healing, the last just makes it feel better. Honestly, be happy it was a c-section and not an episiotomy. I had 32 stitches in a very delicate place, and it took a LONG time to heal, and an even longer time to be able to feel when I needed to pee again.

    Could I have sued my doc because I couldn't tell when I needed to pee for more than a year? Nope, because that happens in childbirth sometimes, with or without an episiotomy.

    My baby was born with a congenital heart condition. They found it in the 20 week ultrasound. They did not inform me of this information. I was bombarded by the cardiologist once she was born. Can I do anything about this?
    Keep your cardiologist appointments? What's the condition?
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    397

    Default Re: C-Section Consent

    They haven't been able to produce me any signature of mine that I signed anything in regards to anything. As for my childs heart condition, they saw it, they didn't tell me about it, until the cardiologist came in day 2 after baby being born.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    3,830

    Default Re: C-Section Consent

    But the fact they didn't tell you about the heart condition has not caused you any damages. You would have had to deal with it for the life of the child regardless of whether they told you when they found it or after the birth. Even if you would have chosen to terminate the pregnancy upon finding out your blessing wasn't perfect, you still have nothing to act on on that account.

    It is possible that the crisis for your baby was so serious that they didn't have time to obtain written consent and had to go on verbal alone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: C-Section Consent

    I can understand your feelings. I think C-sections are way overused but they are actually safer then natural childbirth. Doctors prefer a c-section because they get sued less often and is the only way to deal with breech births, cord problems or if the life/health of the mother or baby are at risk. It is major surgery and the recovery is certainly unpleasant but hardly grounds for a civil action.

    Under the standards for a medical malpractice case in childbirth or any medical procedure and required standards, you have no case. Lack of consent, which you will not be able to establish in any case, is not grounds for a malpractice case and you have no damages to sue for.

    Sorry for what you went through. Sorry too, but no payday for you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    27,752

    Default Re: C-Section Consent

    Quote Quoting Conrad Hunter
    View Post
    I can understand your feelings. I think C-sections are way overused but they are actually safer then natural childbirth. Doctors prefer a c-section because they get sued less often and is the only way to deal with breech births, cord problems or if the life/health of the mother or baby are at risk. It is major surgery and the recovery is certainly unpleasant but hardly grounds for a civil action.

    Under the standards for a medical malpractice case in childbirth or any medical procedure and required standards, you have no case. Lack of consent, which you will not be able to establish in any case, is not grounds for a malpractice case and you have no damages to sue for.

    Sorry for what you went through. Sorry too, but no payday for you.

    Seriously? You think a surgical procedure is safer than natural childbirth?

    What makes you say that?

    I'm truly intrigued by your response here. (It's not, incidentally, necessarily the only way to deal with breech births, cord problems or any other number of issues)
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,132

    Default Re: C-Section Consent

    They haven't been able to produce me any signature of mine that I signed anything in regards to anything.
    So? "emergency" typically means there's no time for paperwork, they're going to ask you or your husband for verbal consent, then haul ass to the OR before you, the baby, or both die. So, aside from a perfectly normal scar, what damages have you suffered?

    As for my childs heart condition, they saw it, they didn't tell me about it, until the cardiologist came in day 2 after baby being born.
    You didn't answer the question. What is the condition? How has not knowing about it ahead of time damaged you?
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    203

    Default Re: C-Section Consent

    Not my area, but I do know enough about malpractice and burdens of proof in malpractice cases to comment.

    I admit it sounds crazy to most people, but malpractice is a real concern for any doctor (and other staff) involved with childbirth and doing a c-section is preferred to natural childbirth for that reason. Anyone can research that. Anyone who deals with medical malpractice can tell you.

    I would also guess it is much more expensive and the doctors make much more money on it.

    One would think natural childbirth would be much safer as billions of people have been born that way since the beginning of human time. A c-section is also as I said, major surgery and I don't think anyone will argue that. All surgery is dangerous and risky.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    supratentorial region
    Posts
    818

    Default Re: C-Section Consent

    Not my area
    Obviously.

    ...but malpractice is a real concern for any doctor (and other staff) involved with childbirth and doing a c-section is preferred to natural childbirth for that reason.
    Although malpractice IS a major concern for Physicians (and other providers), C-Sections are NOT "preferred" over vag deliveries.....unless, of course, the baby and/or mother's health is compromised.

    I would also guess it is much more expensive and the doctors make much more money on it.
    Sorry, this is an uninformed comment. No one chooses the increased liability, not to mention the scrutiny of their medical board and insurance companies, without a specific documented reason the C-Section is required.

    To OP: Your informed consent (that may have been signed upon your first OB visit) included the possibility of C-Section, as well as other procedures an emergency during labor and delivery would necessitate.

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