In an Oregon courtroom, the family of a child injured at birth successfully proved their case against an obstetrician and won damages in excess of $1 million. The child, who is now six-years-old, suffers from a brachial plexus injury. The compensation that she receives from her injuries will assist with medical fees, as well as non-financial challenges she will face for the remainder of her life.
According to reports, the events unfolded as follows:
The expectant mother was admitted to a regional medical center, with normal signs of labor.
The labor progressed without issue until the baby began descending deeper into the birth canal Medical staff diagnosed the baby with shoulder dystocia.
According to the plaintiffs, despite the early diagnosis, the medical staff used traction to complete the delivery process The baby was born with a brachial plexus injury.
What is shoulder dystocia?
The March of Dimes defines shoulder dystocia as a condition that occurs when a baby’s shoulder becomes stuck inside the mother’s birth canal during delivery. It most often occurs when the mother exhibits certain risk factors, like obesity, diabetes or multiple pregnancies. Once the condition is identified, there are reportedly several delivery options that a physician can take to loosen the baby and increase the chances of a healthy birth. These include:
*Applying slight pressure on the lower abdomen of the mother
*Turning the baby’s shoulders within the birth canal
*Assisting the mother in pressing her thighs up to her stomach
In the Oregon case, the plaintiffs asserted that the treating physician failed to take any reasonable measures to prevent injury. Instead, the delivery allegedly caused undo traction and unnecessary force on the baby’s shoulder. The jury determined that this was the cause of the child’s brachial plexus injury.
What is brachial plexus injury?
According to the Mayo Clinic, the brachial plexus nerves span from the spine to the shoulder. Damage to these nerves occurs when they are stretched or torn. The seriousness of the injury can vary significantly and most birth injury occurrences heal naturally within the first year of life. More serious incidents can lead to a complete loss of function in the shoulder.
In the Oregon case, the child did not outgrow her injuries and she is permanently disabled in her left hand. According to her family, she continuously requires expensive medical care due to the negligence of her mother’s obstetrician.
Birth injuries are particularly challenging for the families involved. A pregnancy is a time for joyous planning in anticipation of the new addition to the world. When a treating physician acts negligently, the family is left to deal with the physical, mental and financial difficulties that ensue. With the assistance of an experienced and dedicated attorney, these families can hold the doctor responsible and secure the financial compensation that is needed to provide their child with the best possible quality of life.
If you or your newborn was injured, due to the negligence of a doctor or hospital staff, contact the birth injury attorneys of Levin & Perconti today at (877) 374-1417 for a free consultation.