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New tool aims to reduce injuries during C-sections

Although rare, newborns can sometimes sustain injuries during a C-section delivery in what is the most often-performed surgery in Colorado and across the nation. In one such birth injury, an infant suffered a cut on her face, known as a fetal laceration. These injuries occur when the surgeon attempts to extract the baby with a scalpel and accidentally cuts the baby during the process.

Usually, these birth injuries aren't serious, but in about 3 percent of cases, they can be very damaging, resulting in the loss of fingers or permanent scars on a child's face. Parents who understand these dangers can experience much worry about the possible dangers for their baby.

A new device is helping ease some of those fears for parents and reduce injuries to babies. The device, called C SAFE, makes cesarean section deliveries safer. The cut at the site is done with a blunt piece of plastic. The cutting edge of the plastic then faces away from the baby so that it never comes into contact with the infant. One doctor observed that since nearly one in three births in the nation are C-sections, medical personnel need to implement safer techniques for these operations.

Another obstetrician shared her perspective from both sides of the issue. She inadvertently cut an infant during delivery, which caused her to second-guess procedures she commonly used during dozens of operations after that. In addition, her own daughter was nicked when she was born during a cesarean.

When a baby is injured during birth, the parents might not know what course of action they should take. A medical malpractice attorney might be able to help clients file a lawsuit against a surgeon and responsible parties who might have been negligent during a significant procedure.

Source: CBS Philly, "Health: New way to reduce risk of injuries at birth", Stephanie Stahl, June 26, 2013

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