A woman was 22 years old when she gave birth to her second child, a son, in June 2012 (her first baby was a girl, who was born healthy following a normal vaginal delivery). The woman’s second child suffered serious and permanent birth injuries as a result of alleged medical negligence during labor and delivery, for which she has filed a federal medical malpractice lawsuit in Pennsylvania.
The woman had received prenatal care between December 2011 and June 2012. An ultrasound in April 2012 (at 33 weeks) showed that the fetus was in the 53rd percentile for weight.
On June 17, 2012, the woman went to a large Philadelphia hospital after she began having contractions. She was examined on multiple occasions by obstetrical residents who were monitoring her labor. One of the attending physicians assigned to her care did not examine the woman and he did not perform a pelvic examination of the woman himself but rather relied on what he was told by other medical providers regarding the woman’s condition and the progress of her labor.
The woman alleges that she was told by two physicians in the hospital that she required a Cesarean section delivery. However, the attending physician’s written note states that he planned a vacuum delivery and that he had discussed the risks of a vacuum delivery with the woman, which she accepted. The woman denies being advised regarding the risks of a vacuum delivery to her or her baby, or that she had accepted those risks. The woman further alleges that she was not provided with alternatives to the vacuum delivery, that the delivery of her baby was not an emergency situation that required such delivery, and that she was not provided with an opportunity to decline the vacuum delivery.
The attending physician performed the vacuum delivery during which the baby suffered shoulder dystocia (the baby’s head was vaginally delivered but his shoulder was stuck behind his mother’s pubic bone). Shortly after birth, the baby’s left arm was found to be limp and failed to respond to stimuli, which was diagnosed as caused by a left brachial plexus injury. The baby also suffered a fractured right humerus with radial nerve injury and a possible right brachial plexus injury.
When the baby failed to regain function of his left arm within several months following his birth, exploratory surgery for his left brachial plexus injury was performed during which a complete avulsion was found and microscopic nerve graft surgery was attempted. Despite the surgical repair efforts, the baby is expected to have very limited use of his left arm during his lifetime.
The woman’s medical malpractice lawsuit seeks compensation for her baby’s serious and permanent injuries that were allegedly caused by medical negligence during labor and delivery.
If your child suffered a birth injury, including but not limited to a brachial plexus injury, that may be due to medical negligence that occurred during labor and delivery, you should promptly consult with a medical malpractice lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your birth injury claim (brachial plexus injury claim) for you and represent you and your child in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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