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Cascading Complications: One Wrong Step Can Unexpectedly Harm Patients


One of our recent posts looked at the high rate of unnecessary intervention procedures that American doctors often use in the birthing context. That post explained some of the reasons for why it is important to carefully consider whether a procedure is truly necessary – and this week a sad case is offering a timely example of what can go wrong.

A 31-year-old mother gave birth to her first daughter last year. Like far too many expecting mothers, warning signs of preeclampsia progressed unnoticed to that point at which doctors had to perform an emergency c-section. Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition that can cause fatal seizures.

After the emergency c-section, the mother’s incision became infected with a dangerous form of bacteria. She required three more surgeries and months of recovery before she could leave the hospital and start her new life as a mom. 

If the doctors in her case had administered proper preventative care, it likely could have been possible to avoid her case of preeclampsia. And if preeclampsia had not led to an emergency c-section, this mother would probably have avoided this life-threatening bacterial infection.

All of this is another warning that patients should seek legal counsel if a doctor allowed a medical situation to spiral dangerously out of control. Medical malpractice victims are often entitled to compensation.

Source: Daily Mail, “New mother almost died after C-section scar became infected with a flesh-eating bug,” Emma Innes, May 16, 2013 

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