An Irish study establishing a link between cesarean sections (C-sections) and autism recently came under fire from autism groups for “sensationalist and inaccurate” reporting. In the study, data collected from several countries including the U.S. suggested that this method increases the risk of autism by 23 percent.
While the debate rages on, it brings to light the trend in delivery methods among U.S. babies. HealthDay reports:
Cesarean delivery was the most common inpatient surgery in the United States in 2011 and was used in nearly one-third of all deliveries, research shows.
The new study found that 1.3 million babies were delivered by cesarean section in 2011. The findings also revealed wide variations in C-section rates at hospitals across the United States, but the reasons for such differences are unclear.
Whereas traditional delivery requires the baby to be in a head-down position, a C-section is often recommended when the baby’s feet or buttocks are expected to come out first. Due to the risk of the head being caught in the womb, doctors have to make incisions on the uterus for added elbow room.
However, some experts believe doctors are performing one too many C-sections. In a Health.com report dated 2009, ob-gyn experts estimated that only 5 percent of C-sections were necessary. In any case, doctors are duty-bound to inform would-be mothers about their choices, including when a C-section is a clinical necessity.
If done improperly, a C-section could lead to severe birth injury. Multiple studies have established a link between C-sections and brachial plexus, commonly known as Erb’s palsy. This is one of two common birth injuries typified by a weak or paralyzed arm due to excessive lateral forces applied during delivery, which can harm the shoulder nerves to the point of paralysis.
If injury results in permanent damage, doctors can be held liable for their poor judgment call. A birth injury lawyer in New York like Joseph Lichtenstein has dealt with related cases over his years of securing just compensation for birth injury victims. Such an attorney upholds that doctors should know better when and when not to resort to certain procedures.
When it comes to bringing new life into the world, there can be no room for error. Doctors are called upon to undertake this crucial task and must make it happen without unnecessary losses. Any judgment call contrary to medical doctrine is grounds for malpractice, and something that a Brooklyn birth injury lawyer would have to examine.
(Source: “Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. babies delivered by C-section, study finds,” HealthDay [c/o 13abc.com], October 23, 2014)