Recently, a Kansas woman was awarded a significant jury verdict after a finding of medical malpractice. According to testimony introduced at trial, a child's left arm was left "effectively paralyzed" after suffering ripped and ruptured nerves during her June 2008 delivery. Her birth injury – called shoulder dystocia – occurs when a baby's shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother's pelvic bone. When not correctly resolved, the situation can lead to a brachial plexus injury or a brain injury due to a lack of oxygen or blood flow. The birth injury may lead to developmental delay, including mental retardation and cerebral palsy. In certain situations, the failure to treat shoulder dystocia correctly or to prevent the condition from occurring where warning signs are presents may constitute medical malpractice.
If you believe your child has suffered a birth injury such as shoulder dystocia as the result of medical malpractice, it is important to speak to a knowledgeable San Francisco birth injury lawyer who can answer your birth injury questions and provide critical guidance concerning your next steps.
According to evidence presented in the case, doctors were aware that the infant involved in the case was large – a warning sign that often leads to shoulder dystocia. During the delivery, the doctor unnecessarily used a vacuum to help the child through the birth canal. When she became stuck, the doctor pulled on her head, causing severe nerve damage and leaving the infant's left arm nearly useless.
Some of the risks of shoulder dystocia include delivering a large baby or having a small pelvic opening. Although not every bad outcome or birth injury is the result of medical malpractice, where a doctor fails to meet the requisite standard of care he or she may be found responsible for a birth injury.
For more information, or if you believe medical malpractice caused your child to suffer a birth injury, contact the dedicated California birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for a confidential consultation.