BIRTH INJURY Medical Malpractice Lawsuit: Excessive Traction Results in Permanent Brachial Plexus Injury.
The doctor fell below the standard of care during delivery when he failed to appropriately utilize shoulder dystocia release techniques and positioning and, as such, applied inappropriate and/or excessive lateral traction prior to resolution of a shoulder dystocia causing permanent injury. During delivery, the defendant applied excessive traction and movement of the head in a lateral manner which resulted in a permanent brachial plexus injury for the child.
Also, in the medical records the doctor noted that the mom’s first baby was delivered at 37 weeks and weight 8 pounds and that there was some concern that this baby would be bigger. The doctor noted estimated fetal weight was 8.5 lb to 9 lb, and “some consideration for a shoulder dystocia was entertained at this point.”
There is no indication in the medical record nor has there been any testimony from the doctor l that his documented suspicion for shoulder dystocia, brachial plexus injury, or cesarean section were discussed with the mom nor is there any indication in the medical record that the doctor offered a cesarean section to avoid the risk of permanent neurological injury due to shoulder dystocia.
The failure of the doctor to discuss his suspicions with the mom is a clear breach the standard of care. He failed to counsel the mom regarding the risk of shoulder dystocia, including permanent neurological injury to her child, and the available alternative mode of delivery by cesarean section to avoid shoulder dystocia, and permanent brachial plexus injury. Had a cesarean section been performed, the newborn would not have suffered a permanent brachial plexus injury.
The case was settled at mediation for the amount of $1,200,000.00.