A steady increase in the number of cesarean births (c-sections) every year in the United States has prompted Ecomed Solutions to develop an innovative delivery tool that could improve cesarean safety. The new Sureglide Cesarean scalpel was designed by obstetricians and gynecologists with the goal of reducing sharps-related injuries during c-sections, and throughout the handling process.
The number of infants delivered via c-section has increased by 23 percent since 2000. Now, c-sections occur in approximately 30 percent of all deliveries. With the increase in c-section deliveries, the healthcare industry is also concerned about an increase in the risk of injuries related to the procedure.
Cesarean Safety Concerns
There are several risks involved with c-section delivery. The most common birth injury risks associated with c-sections include:
- Breathing Problems: Infants who are born via c-section are more likely to have difficulty breathing than those delivered vaginally. It is important that infants are monitored for any signs of distress during and after the c-section process.
- Fetal Lacerations: During a c-section, the baby can suffer injury from cuts, lacerations, or nicks caused by the scalpel. Because of the fetal position and location of the infant in the uterus, his or her face is often in the vicinity of where the incision is made during a c-section.
- Anesthesia Injuries: Infants may become injured during the process of a c-section if the wrong dosage is administered to the mother, or if she is allergic. Anesthesia injuries may include low blood pressure, internal bleeding, placental abruption, or placenta previa.
- Infections: Infections are a type of birth injury following a c-section that is a risk for mothers. Like any surgical procedure, the site around a c-section is susceptible to infection if the site is not properly cared for before, during, and after the procedure.
Doctors have the tedious job of making a c-section incision properly without injuring the infant or harming surrounding tissue. Further, doctors must be cognizant of the potential risks that sharp surgical tools present to the mother, themselves, and surgical staff.
If you or your child suffered a sharps-related injury during a c-section, you likely have many questions about your legal rights as a patient. Surgical errors are never acceptable, and you deserve the chance to get answers and protect the health and safety of your family. Contact Brown Wharton & Brothers to get the help you need.
Sharps-related injuries are a significant concern during labor and delivery. Current models of scalpel do not include basic features like safety mechanisms. Consider the following facts about these injuries:
- According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 385,000 sharps-related injuries occur every year in U.S.
- Sharps-related injuries may occur before or during a procedure, or after during the disposal period. Injuries to the surgical staff occur at the following rates:
- 41 percent – During use on the patient
- 40 percent – After use but before disposal
- 15 percent – During disposal
- Sharps-related injuries occur in approximately three percent of all pregnancies/deliveries. The type and occurrence of injuries involving scalpels include the following:
- 65 percent – Skin lacerations
- 21 percent – Cephalohematoma
- 3 percent – Facial nerve palsy
- 1 percent – Skull fracture
Injuries caused by surgical tools are a concern during any procedure – but that concern should not fall on the shoulders of patients. Surgeons and surgical staff are required to perform in a way that promotes patient safety and upholds medical standards of care. When they deviate from the standards of care, or are negligent in handling surgical tools, the patient’s life may be at risk.
Sureglide Scalpel Promotes Safety
To address the issue of safety for the mother, child, and surgical staff during c-sections, Ecomed Solutions has developed the Sureglide Cesarean scalpel. The Sureglide scalpel offers a unique design that has built-in safety features designed to promote safety and efficiency. Some of the benefits of the Sureglide scalpel include:
- Protected blade that cuts up and away from the baby.
- Design and easy movement eliminates fetal exposure regardless of the thickness of the uterine wall, or the number of passes required to complete the incision.
- Ergonomically designed handle that offers greater control and improved line of sight.
- Raised ribs on the handle for improved grip.
- Blade safety feature eliminates exposure to the blade by the surgeon or staff .
The developers of Sureglide used input from surgeons, obstetricians, and gynecologists to ensure a design and functionality that would promote safety. The CEO of Ecomed Solutions, David Yurek, states that “Scars should be left for memories of learning to ride a bike, not childbirth”.
Getting Help after a Birth Injury
Surgical errors during any procedure can adversely affect your life. In the context of delivering your child, they can leave more than physical scars. When your child is injured due to a surgical error or medical negligence, you will experience a rush of anxiety, anger, fear, and uncertainty. While you battle through these emotions, it can be difficult to really understand the gravity of the situation.
Here are some questions to ask yourself so you know when it is time to get help:
- What caused the birth injury? Was it a medical complication, or was it caused by human error?
- Did my doctor do everything in his or her power to prevent the injury?
- What was the doctor’s response to the birth injury? Did he or she admit guilt or apologize?
- What are the short and long term impacts for my child and family?
As you contemplate these questions, also consider whether your legal rights as a patient were upheld. Patients have the right to high quality, safe, and ethical healthcare. If your doctor’s care was substandard, unethical, or negligent and you or your child were harmed, your legal rights may have been violated. In such cases, it is imperative that you contact a medical malpractice or birth injury attorney right away.