Whenever a doctor caring for a pregnant woman acts negligently, they puts the expectant mother at risk of injury, and also endanger the life of the unborn child.
Doctors have a legal responsibility to treat all patients with care that meets or exceeds the standards of care in the relevant medical field. Failure to meet these standards of care may put the medical provider at risk of medical malpractice liability. There are various ways in which doctors can act negligently and cause harm to the patient. Whenever a doctor caring for a pregnant woman acts negligently, he/she not only puts the expectant mother at risk of injury, but also endangers the life of the unborn child.
A recent study by the Journal of Perinatology has suggested that medical providers often underestimate the birth weight of the babies to be delivered by a mother’s second or subsequent vaginal delivery. This can give a false sense of security in the delivery room, and greatly increase the risk of brachial plexus injury to the baby. Our Chicago birth injury lawyer explains what brachial plexus injury is and how underestimation of weight can increase the chances of this injury.
What is Brachial Plexus and how is it caused?
Brachial plexus refers to the network of nerves that connect the brain and the spinal cord to the shoulders, arms, and hands. When a mother goes through prolonged labor or a difficult birth, the baby’s shoulders can become stuck in the birth canal, and this network of nerves may become damaged. This can lead to partial or complete paralysis of the infant’s arm.
If the fetus is larger than normal, the chances of a brachial plexus injury increase considerably. The standard of care requires medical providers in the delivery room to correctly predict if a brachial plexus injury can occur during the delivery, and take appropriate action to prevent it. The preventive actions may include ordering a cesarean section to reduce the risk of such birth injuries.
Study shows doctors often underestimate the infant weight
A recent study conducted to determine whether the risk of a brachial plexus injury was higher in a first time vaginal delivery or in subsequent vaginal births has concluded that although the risk of this type of injury is not higher in subsequent births, an underestimation of the birth weight of the subsequent naturally delivered babies may result in doctors failing to identify the risk of brachial plexus injury. They may neglect to take remedial or preventive measure in time to prevent such an injury. The researchers urged the doctors not to assume that the prior vaginal delivery will reduce the risk of brachial plexus injury. They should make efforts to correctly predict the birth weight of the infant, and take necessary actions accordingly.
Chicago Birth Injury Lawyers
If your child has suffered brachial plexus injury or was born with Erb’s palsy, and you think it is a result of the medical provider’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation from the medical provider responsible for causing the birth injury. You should consult with a Chicago birth injury lawyer to discuss the legal options available. Give us a call today at (312) 957-4166 for a free case evaluation.