Parents and Physicians Consent To Settle Malpractice Case For $900,000 Over Erb’s Palsy Injury To Infant

 By: J. Hernandez
Among the more frequent types of birth injuries is an Erb's palsy injury which affects the child's shoulder and arm. This can be a severe injury that in the most extreme instances might leave the child with poor use of the arm even subsequent to surgery. In many circumstances the injury is preventable. If this happens because of an error by a doctor during the delivery procedure the parents may be able to follow this with a malpractice case for themselves and their infant.

As an example, look at a reported claim regarding a woman expecting her third child. She was either borderline for or actually had gestational diabetes, abnormal weight gain throughout the pregnancy and had in the past delivered 2 large babies. About four months into the pregnancy the woman's physician documented that the unborn child was bigger than expected by the gestational age and three months later she was borderline on her glucose test for gestational diabetes. An ultrasound done a brief time after that consultation placed the baby's weight in the 90th percentile. During the expectant mother's final prenatal visit the day prior to the scheduled delivery the doctor noted the fundal height (a measurement of the uterus used to check fetal growth and development) at 43 centimeters. She was 40 weeks pregnant at the time.

The next day she reported to the hospital as scheduled. After her admission, a second doctor took over her care. The hospital record described her prior borderline glucose test and also that she was at high risk given her earlier "large gestational age" babies. This doctor failed to, however, test her glucose amount or make any effort to estimate the unborn child's weight before medically inducing her.

Almost several hours after her admission to the hospital her membranes spontaneously ruptured. When this happened a significant quantity of meconium was noticed. This is generally an indication that the unborn child is in difficulty and usually demands an emergency C-section. About 40 minutes subsequently the doctor completed a vaginal examination. The doctor documented that the woman was 4 centimeters dilated. The doctor positioned a fetal scalp electrode which revealed early decelerations. Despite the fact that it was not included in the publication of the lawsuit, particular types of decelerations may be an indication of fetal distress. A little more than one hour later the expectant mother was fully dilated. The nurse's paperwork included the existence of shoulder dystocia, the delivery of the child's head, and also the application of suprapubic pressure to help delivery.

The baby weighed ten pounds 10 ounces ounces at birth. She had a head circumference in the ninetieth percentile. She was diagnosed with Erb's palsy. As she got older her arm atrophied because of her incapacity to use it. She has developmental delays and she has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

The doctors failed to monitor the mother for gestational diabetes but had sufficient information that the baby was large prior to birth. Still, they did not plan on a Caesarean and did not attempt a common method prior to applying traction to the baby's head. These steps might have prevented the child's injury. The parents initiated a medical malpractice claim against the doctors and the law firm that handled the case revealed that the claim settled for $900,000.
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Article Tags: erbs palsy, group b strep

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