Making a caesarean negligence claim

April is international caesarean awareness month. It is held to educate people about surgical births, their importance and what can go wrong. Caesareans (often called a C section) are used when labour is unable to be done vaginally, and they can be lifesaving. Caesareans are usually only carried out when it is the safest option for mother and baby, and around 1 in 4 pregnant women in the UK now have a caesarean birth.

There are three types of C-section:

Elective – This is a planned procedure before the labour.

Unplanned – This is when the caesarean was not planned. Most caesareans are unplanned as the need for one does not usually present itself until closer to labour, or during.

Emergency – This happens during labour when there is an immediate concern for the health of the mother or baby.

In 2023 the data indicated that 15% of caesareans are elective, while 19% were carried out in an emergency. There has been many legal challenges made against the NHS for not allowing an elective caesarean, even after one was requested.

It is feared that the refusal of an elective caesarean is resulting in severe injuries to mothers, babies, and in the worst case, the loss of life.

There are several reasons why a mother may request an elective caesarean, including:

  • Mother having a low-laying placenta, which covers their cervix and will stop baby from being able to get out.
  • Mother having health issues, which means that a caesarean will be the safer option.
  • Baby is in a position which will make a virginal birth more difficult or impossible.
  • Mother is having twins and feels that a caesarean will be safer.

Our team of specialist lawyers have bought a number of successful caesarean negligence claims against NHS Trusts. The most common claims are:

  • Failure to perform a caesarean section in time, resulting in injuries to mother or/and baby.
  • Injuries caused due to an elective caesarean being refused.
  • Surgical errors made during a caesarean, which causes physical harm.

Oliver Thorne, who is the head of our medical negligence department specialises in birth injury claims. He has dealt with many cases where a caesarean section has been needed but not provided. In one such case Oliver successfully bought a claim for a mother who sadly lost her son as a result of his position not being identified earlier and a caesarean not being carried out.

If you, or your baby have suffered an injury as a result of caesarian negligence, please contact our friendly helpline team, who will be happy to provide you with a free review of your case. Call freephone 0333 888 0436 or send an email to us at [email protected]


Caesarean negligence