Illinois Mom Claims Doctors Failed to Diagnose Fetal Macrosomia

Shay Morrigan | February 19th, 2013 | Posted in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit News

Erbs Palsy LawsuitAn Illinois mother filed an Erbs palsy lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County after her daughter suffered a birth injury. She claimed that the doctors who cared for her during her pregnancy should be held liable for medical negligence, as they failed to diagnose a serious condition that affected the delivery and resulted in the baby’s injury.

The case was removed to federal court, but was dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The plaintiff filed an administrative complaint with defendant United States of America, Department of Health and Human Services, on February 10, 2012. After six months, the defendant had failed to make a written final disposition of the plaintiff’s claim, so she elected to refile the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, on September 13, 2012.

Facts of Erb’s palsy lawsuit

According to her complaint, drawn up by her birth injury lawyer, the plaintiff came under the professional care and treatment of the defendants—including doctors and other healthcare professionals employed by the Will County Community Health Center, owned and operated by the United States of America—prior to September 4, 2008. She went to the health center for prenatal care during her pregnancy.

During the time she was being cared for by the defendants, the plaintiff claims that she gained over 60 pounds. Her birth injury lawyer adds that she developed a condition known as “fetal macrosomia.”

Birth injury lawyer claims doctors failed to diagnose plaintiff

Fetal macrosomia is a condition in which the newborn is significantly larger than average, typically being born with a weight of more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces. The condition can increase the risk of a difficult delivery and serious birth injury.

According to a scientific study published in 2012 in ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology, macrosomia is potentially dangerous for the mother and the unborn child. “It is important to recognize the suspected fetal macrosomia to prevent its risk factors and complications,” the authors wrote.

An earlier study published in 2008 (Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica) noted that macrosomia increases risk of shoulder dystocia and newborn asphyxia. Shoulder dystocia is when the newborn’s shoulder becomes lodged under the mother’s pubic bone, increasing risk of damage to the brachial plexus—the bundle of nerves around the shoulder that control movement in the arm. Newborn asphyxia refers to a situation in which the baby is deprived of oxygen.

“Vaginal delivery of a macrosomic fetus requires considered attention by an experienced obstetrician and preparedness for operative delivery, shoulder dystocia, and newborn asphyxia,” the authors wrote.

The plaintiff in this case claims that the doctors failed to diagnose macrosomia, resulting in the baby’s injury and subsequent Erb’s palsy.

Baby suffers brachial plexus injury

According to the complaint, on September 4, 2008, the plaintiff was admitted to the hospital. There, she gave birth to her baby via vaginal delivery. Due to the baby’s large size, she suffered a brachial plexus injury, and was later diagnosed with Erb’s palsy.

The plaintiff believes that the doctors and hospital should be found liable for medical negligence because they failed to diagnose macrosomia, and because they failed to appropriately assess the size of the fetus during the mother’s prenatal care. They also discussed no alternative methods of delivery with the plaintiff, failing to give her the option of C-section delivery, which may have helped avoid the injury.

The plaintiff and her birth injury lawyer seek in excess of $50,000. If your child suffered similar injuries during delivery and you believe medical negligence may be involved, the law offices of Balkin & Eisbrouch can help. Call us today for a free consultation on your case. You may be entitled to damages by filing an Erbs palsy lawsuit.