In 2013, a 27 year-old pregnant woman was admitted to the hospital with ruptured membranes. According to Injury Lawyer News, the mother had gestational diabetes when admitted and was about three weeks early to deliver her child.
Five days before she was admitted to the hospital, she had undergone an ultrasound and was informed that her child was about 8 lbs. 11 oz., which was over the 90th percentile for weight given the age of the baby. Medical records showed, however, that the unborn child was macrosomic, or significantly larger than average. Babies who are macrosomic usually complicate a vaginal delivery. These large babies can be put at risk during birth because of their size.
After the mother was admitted, it was determined that she was an insulin dependent woman carrying a macrosomic baby. A little after noon, the hospital began Pitocin to start labor. Not long after, she requested an epidural. By 5:43 p.m., she was only dilated 8 to 9 centimeters. At approximately 9:42 p.m., she became fully dilated. A few minutes later, two nurses and a doctor performed shoulder dystocia resolution maneuvers.
The mother was unable to deliver the child, however, even after becoming fully dilated. The doctor indicated it was due to maternal exhaustion. It was at that point that doctors used a vacuum extractor, at approximately 9:52 p.m. The vacuum leaked and had to be reapplied three times. The baby’s head became visible a few minutes later, but the body of the baby was not delivered until after 10 p.m. The baby weighed 11 pounds, 1 ounce at the time of birth.
When the child was delivered, it was determined that he had suffered from cardiac arrest and was lifeless. After cardiac and respiratory resuscitation, his Apgar scores were still zero. He was then intubated three minutes after delivery. Because of his birth injuries, he suffered respiratory failure, acute kidney failure, and subgaleal hemorrhage. These injuries resulted in permanent brain damage, brachial plexus palsy, and Horner’s Syndrome.
Brachial plexus injuries occur when the nerves that send signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hands are altered or ripped from the spinal cord. This injury may lead to an arm becoming paralyzed with a complete loss of function and sensation.
The mother has filed a lawsuit against the hospital that delivered her child.
If your child has suffered grave injuries during to childbirth due to delivery mistakes, please contact our expert medical malpractice and birth injury attorneys today at 617-787-3700.