What is A Fetal Laceration Injury?
Fetal Laceration Injury or Latrogenic Fetal Injury is when a newborn baby (or fetus) gets cut during a c-section. For some babies the cuts are superficial (meaning it’s only a surface cut) and for others the injuries are deep enough that they’ll need to be stitched up and some cases the injuries can be life-threatening. Why is this happening?
I’m Not a Doctor What Do I Know?
For many of us not knowing exactly what goes on during a c-section procedure we might find ourselves accepting the notion that unpredictable variables can arise during surgery to cause unforeseeable complications. We think “doctors get paid a lot so their jobs must be really difficult and complicated” but you’d be surprised. Now, I understand that doctors are beholden to insurance companies, that they’re on call perhaps 24 hours a day, and that they don’t get paid enough for the things they’re called to do, but that is no excuse for not taking all the proper precautions necessary to prevent the accidental cutting of babies.
With all that being said, sure, all the necessary precautions may not be a reality with emergency c-sections. It’s a stressful situation. People are screaming and possibly dying and everything is time sensitive. In these situations a doctor might have to rush, may not have all the tools available but if I may stress again, fetal lacerations are happening even in planned c-sections. That is, in situations where everything is running smooth, everything is scheduled and nothing is out of the ordinary.
The Hunt to Find Answers
So, I started to do my research to find exactly why babies are being cut and to see if a fetal laceration is something that can be prevented. To make a long story short, I have found that no babies should have ever been cut. Because babies being cut during c-sections is the result of doctors not following basic procedures and not using the tools at their disposal. In other words, not providing the basic standard of care. This relieves me because if the lives of babies rested solely on the expectation of doctors alone and on the assumption that all doctors are competent then that would be scary.
What I have found (please see video below) was that the last stages of uteran entry, doctors should be very careful. They should be making careful swipes, with a certain blade, swipes that are only so many inches wide, using clamps and when the last paper thin layers of the uterus is reached using a finger or blunt bandage scissors to get all the way through. Blunt scissors should then be used to make the remaining incisions to make the opening wide enough to pull the baby out. If these procedures were followed, fetal lacerations would never happen but sadly enough they do. In fact, a little too often.
According to a video I watched regarding a device called c-safe which is a 28 dollar tool that doctors could use to prevent fetal lacerations “15-45,000 children are being cut every year in U.S. alone” with many cases going undocumented. In the cases that were documented and where the parents made attempts to sue their doctor for negligence and malpractice, the parents were met with many obstacles. One of which is a thing called an affidavit of merit.
Thinking of Filing a Lawsuit?
Unless you or your child have some devastating injuries that will need years of treatment to heal, or have some serious scars-no lawyer will touch your case. So let’s say you’re especially pissed and want to go at it yourself or in law talk “pro se” then here’s some things you might consider. You’ll most likely need to get an affadavit (or certificate) of merit.
An Affidavit of Merit is basically an affidavit that is signed by a doctor who essentially has the same credentials and experience as the doctor that cut your baby. Also, in most states these doctors can only spend so much of their time signing affidavits (no more than about and around 20% in most states) and they also must have a current license to practice. In some states these doctors must also spend some of their time teaching. Many states have implemented this requirement which supposedly is the result of too many malpractice claims that have little or no merit.
So let’s say a person gets lucky and finds such a doctor. The affidavit is not cheap. The price or fee to obtain an affidavit of merit from a doctor for your legal case can range anywhere from 1 to 10,000 dollars or more. So I guess there won’t be too many lawsuits. Anyway, please watch the following videos for more information. Note: Some of the videos below may not be suitable for some viewers as they are very graphic.