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New Device Could Prevent Fetal Lacerations During C-Sections

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) – Every expectant mother looks forward to holding a perfect, healthy baby.

Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong during a delivery.

Sara McGahan is a beautiful 4-year-old from Plymouth, but she had a tough start in this world. A close examination of her left cheek reveals a slight scar.

Sara was nicked during a Cesarean delivery. This is known as a “Fetal Laceration” and means the scalpel went too deep and cut the baby as well as the mother’s abdomen.

Sara’s mother Julie said it was very unnerving after the surgeon told her it had happened to her. “Why did it happen to my baby? It was very upsetting.”

The majority of fetal lacerations are small like Sara’s cut. But as Dr. Brigid McCue, an obstetrician at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth, explained, “The 3% that are deeper can be very severe, can amputate fingers, can lead to facial lacerations that leave a scar.”

A new device, called the CSafe is promising to virtually eliminate fetal lacerations. It costs just $28 and relies on some pretty simple logic.

The CSafe actually has a blade that faces up so it never threatens the baby.

“All the while, the baby never comes in contact with the blade,” said Dr. Hector Chapa, a CSafe spokesperson. “And now that C-sections are approaching a 33% national rate, it is time to open up our eyes and do this differently.”

Dr. McCue is ready to try something different. Not only was her own daughter nicked during a C-section, but she’s lacerated a baby during delivery.

“It impacts the next 30-50 cesareans that you do. Everyone that you do is ‘oohh, are you sure?’ It’s devastating,” said Dr. McCue.

Julie, who is a nurse, agreed to let Dr. McCue use the CSafe. “It put a lot of mother’s worries at bay.”

And it did. When Dr. McCue handed Rebecca McGahan to Julie last week she was perfect from head to toe.

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