Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) has been the subject of medical debate in recent years. Though complications are rare, laboring for a VBAC poses serious risks of uterine rupture and birth injury. On the other hand, birth by cesarean exposes mothers and babies to all the risks of any surgery, including dangerous reaction to anesthesia, infection, and C-section mistakes.
When VBAC is the chosen method for delivery, the delivery room team is charged with the responsibility of closely monitoring the mother and fetus for signs of trouble. If they fail to respond adequately in the event of an emergency, those medical professionals may be liable for the harm they cause.
Heightened Risk of Uterine Scar Rupture
In addition to the usual complications of labor and delivery, a VBAC delivery carries the additional risk that the uterine scar from the previous Cesarean will rupture during labor or delivery. The level of risk for a uterine rupture varies depending on the placement and shape of the existing scar.
Symptoms of Uterine Scar Rupture
A uterine rupture during labor or delivery often occurs suddenly and without warning. Symptoms include:
- Sharp pain at the site of the scar
- Vaginal bleeding
- Diminished contraction intensity
- Changes in fetal heart rate
Rapid Response Required to Avoid Birth Injury
A uterine rupture that occurs during a VBAC delivery may call for an immediate Caesarean section. Without swift medical intervention, the baby can be pushed through the uterine wall into the mother’s abdomen, placing both at risk for injuries such as hemorrhage in the mother and fetal brain damage.
In fact, a prompt response is so essential that the guidelines of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend that women in labor for a VBAC be offered electronic fetal monitoring and require a surgeon and an anesthesiologist to be immediately available during delivery.
VBAC and medical negligence
Your medical team may be liable for any birth injury sustained during a VBAC. You may be entitled to compensation for the harm inflicted on you and your baby.
Talk to a leading birth injury attorney at Balkin & Eisbrouch to learn more about your legal rights in pursuing a medical malpractice claim. We can help investigate the circumstances surrounding your labor and delivery and determine whether medical negligence is to blame.
The consultation is free, and there is never a charge unless we win your case.