While c-section deliveries have increased by 500 percent over one generation, they’re far from an easy procedure. They’re major surgeries, after all, and sometimes surgeries don’t go quite as planned. That was certainly the case for one mom in Scotland whose baby got an accidental incision of her own.
Emma Edwards’ baby daughter Karmen was left with a 1½ -inch scar between her eye and ear after she was born by c-section last year, according to the Daily Mail. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has recently concluded its investigation of the incident and announced changes to their surgeons’ trainings and new pamphlets to raise awareness about the risks associated with c-sections. But Edwards still says that the whole debacle was a nightmare.
“It was just a disaster from the start to the end,” she told the Daily Mail.
She had opted to have a c-section because scans showed that Karmen would be large, she said. But since the NHS works a little bit different than US hospitals, her c-section appointment was pushed back because of hospital overcrowding. When her water finally broke and she went into labor, her doctors proceeded with a c-section anyway. She gave birth to a girl – with a giant cut in her head. According to Edwards, her surgeon told her the accident happened because they didn’t realize she was in active labor.
The cut has since healed, but it has left a pretty big scar in its wake. And it wasn’t stitched up until a day after delivery since a plastic surgeon had to travel from another city.
These kind of injuries aren’t unheard of. There’s been random cases in the past few years in which babies received accidental cuts and nicks during delivery, including one Australian baby’s skull that was broken in a particularly tragic story. In many of these cases, they happened during emergency c-sections or during labor, according to a 2004 study in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Still, though, it’s worth noting that most babies delivered by c-section come out just fine. Over 96 percent of c-sections happen without baby getting cut, according to the 2004 ACOG study. Even more promising, medical professionals are trying to fix this problem. A device released in 2013 called the CSafe has a blade that’s angled away from baby, ensuring that accidental cuts are almost impossible. In short: it’s important to stay aware of the risks if you’re getting a c-section, but don’t let it scare you off altogether.