Articles Posted in Shoulder Dystocia

In this confidential settlement, during the delivery of Baby Doe, a shoulder dystocia occurred. The attending physician, Dr. Roe, released the impacted shoulder and delivered Baby Doe, who suffered a right brachial plexus injury. The brachial plexus injury required nerve graft surgery.

In spite of the surgery to correct the brachial plexus injury, Baby Doe now has a paralyzed right arm, shoulder and hand. Baby Doe’s mother suffered vaginal injuries as well during the delivery.

Baby Doe and her parents filed a lawsuit against the obstetrician, Dr. Roe, and the hospital that delivered Baby Doe, alleging that they chose not to properly handle the shoulder dystocia and safely delivery the baby. The Doe family claimed that Dr. Roe had encountered shoulder dystocia during the delivery of Baby Doe’s older sibling, but chose not to alert the Doe parents about this or the need for a Cesarean section delivery for future pregnancies.
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On June 6, 2006, the newborn baby, America Camacho, was delivered by the defendant obstetrician, Dr. Sonya Thomas, at Norwegian American Hospital in Chicago. Baby America weighed 10.5 pounds at birth. A medical negligence lawsuit was filed against Dr. Thomas and Norwegian American Hospital. The family of America maintained that Dr. Thomas chose not to review a June 1, 2006 prenatal ultrasound report, negligently chose not to suspect fetal macrosomia based on the ratio of the fetal head circumference to abdominal circumference, and relied solely upon the estimated fetal weight measurement of just under 8 pounds before the vaginal delivery.

Fetal macrosomia is a medical term used to describe a newborn whose size at birth is significantly larger than average. A baby diagnosed with fetal macrosomia will have a birth weight of more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4000 grams).

Fetal macrosomia poses health risks for the baby and the mother. One of the most common dangers to the unborn fetus is injury to the baby’s shoulder or injury to the important nerves in the baby’s shoulder area that control movement and arm function.
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Beatriz Escobar received prenatal care from the defendant obstetrician, Dr. Daniel Rostein. She was admitted to MacNeal Hospital for induction of labor at 38 weeks gestation on the afternoon of Oct. 3, 2005.

On admission, she was given Pitocin at progressively increased dosages throughout the evening. After fetal monitor strips indicated possible fetal complications around midnight, Dr. Rostein, who was not at the hospital, ordered preparations for a Cesarean section delivery.

Once Dr. Rostein arrived at the hospital and evaluated Escobar, he found no fetal concerns and decided to proceed with the original plan for a vaginal delivery.

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During the delivery of Gwendolyn E., her shoulder became stuck or she encountered shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia is a term used when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the pelvic bone of the mother during delivery. Because of the shoulder dystocia involving Gwendolyn’s delivery, the attending obstetrician, Dr. Miguel Carbonell, applied traction.

As a result of the traction, Gwendolyn suffered a brachial plexus injury, which required many surgeries. She is now 6 years old but has limited use of her left hand because of the nerve injuries to the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that runs from the spine to the neck to the shoulders. During a shoulder dystocia delivery, the baby can have those nerves stretched or torn, which results in very serious mobility injuries to the shoulder, arms and hands.

Gwendolyn’s mother filed a lawsuit against Dr. Carbonell and the employer, Associates for Women’s Health of Southern Oregon, alleging use of excessive traction.

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During the birth of Jasmyn Finch, the obstetrician, Dr. Claire Bernardin encountered Jasmyne’s shoulder stuck behind her mother’s pelvic bone or sacral promontory. When a shoulder dystocia does occur during the delivery phase, it is considered an emergency. It is a dangerous occurrence that can be overcome with the use of maneuvers, such as the McRoberts maneuver. Jasmyne suffered shoulder dystocia, but with the help of an assistant, Dr. Bernardin delivered Jasmyne. Unfortunately, Jasmyne was born with left brachial plexus injury.

As a result of the brachial plexus injury, Jasmyne, who is now 19, cannot lift her left arm above her shoulder. In addition, her left shoulder is 8 centimeters shorter than her right arm.

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that runs from the spine, neck and through the shoulders. In childbirth, when the shoulder gets stuck as in Jasmyne’s situation, the nerves can be stretched or torn and permanently disrupted. Some brachial plexus injuries heal without the need of surgery. But in this case, the injury to the right shoulder was permanent and devastating.

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On March 1, 2011, Jamie Rae was in induced for labor at 39 weeks gestation due to the large size of her baby. The defendant obstetrician, Dr. James Riva, did a vaginal delivery of the baby, Bailei Rae, at a hospital in Maryville, Ill.

During the course of the delivery of Bailei, a shoulder dystocia occurred involving the anterior presenting shoulder. That means that the baby’s shoulder was stuck on the pelvic bone of her mother, Jamie Rae. While performing maneuvers to relieve the shoulder dystocia, Dr. Riva allegedly exerted excessive traction on the baby’s head, causing a 5-level cervical nerve root injury including a complete avulsion at C-8.

As a result, the 9 lbs 2 oz newborn baby, Bailei Rae, sustained a brachial plexus injury to the posterior shoulder with permanent nerve root damage and Erb’s palsy in the left arm.

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Dr. Sonya L. Thomas was named as a defendant in a birth injury case that was claimed to have been caused by her negligence in the delivery of a baby, Regina Pilero, at St. Anthony Hospital on Jan.  6, 2007. Dr. Thomas is an obstetrician. It was alleged in the lawsuit that was filed on behalf of the minor child that Dr. Thomas chose not to correctly manage shoulder dystocia during Regina’s delivery and used excessive force to extract the baby.

Plaintiffs alleged this caused nerve root avulsion at C-7 with damage to the adjacent nerve trunks at C5-6 to the newborn.  A nerve root avulsion injury causes weakness to the nearby muscles and may be severe.

As a result of the brachial plexus injury, Regina required cable grafting and muscle surgery. Regina has permanent weakness and dysfunction in her left arm that represents $272,026 in past medical expenses along with a future life care plan for therapy and expenses that range from $481,647 to $698,217. In addition, it was presented at trial that Regina would have lost income ranging from $315,000 to $627,648 over the course of her expected life.

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In this confidential settlement reached by the family of a newborn and obstetrician, the mother was to deliver her baby at 37 weeks gestation. The mom was admitted to the hospital to deliver the baby. During the second stage of labor, she experienced exhaustion while pushing.  The treating obstetrician used a vacuum extractor in an effort to deliver the baby. 

However, the child suffered severe shoulder dystocia.  The obstetrician applied downward traction to deliver the baby, who was born with a left brachial plexus injury.  The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that responds from the spine to the shoulder, arm and hand. A brachial plexus injury takes place when those same nerves are stretched or in some cases torn. This can also happen when in childbirth the baby’s shoulder is pressed down forcefully while the head is pushed up and away from the shoulder. 

The baby in this case is now 3 years old and can barely move her left arm even though she’s had surgery. 

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Nanajan Yakoub, M.D., a family practice physician, was responsible for the prenatal care of Munira Syeda at Swedish Covenant Family Practice Clinic. This was Syeda’s first pregnancy. On July 10, 2002, Dr. Yakoub admitted Munira to Swedish Covenant Hospital for induction of labor and delivery when she was 38.1 weeks because of prenatal concerns regarding increased uric acid, possible gestational hypertension and complaints of leaking fluid.

Syeda’s labor progressed steadily until it was complete, and she began pushing at 4:02 p.m. At 4:35 p.m., Dr. Yakoub utilized a vacuum device three times to try unsuccessfully to deliver the baby, with the device popping off during one of the attempts. 

At 5 p.m., Dr. Yakoub had to leave the hospital for a planned trip out-of-state.The doctor enlisted the help of the defendant, Sunanva Rabella, M.D., a board-certified obstetrician. Dr. Rabella took over the delivery and recommended that the patient rest. 

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The Seventh Circuit U.S. Circuit of Appeals has affirmed a decision by a federal court judge regarding the statute of limitations in Federal Tort Claims Act cases. 

In this case, the plaintiff’s attorney did not inform the plaintiff that the two-year statute of limitations for claims filed under the Federal Tort Claims Act was not tolled because of the minority of the plaintiff.

Gabriela Arteaga gave birth to an 11-pound baby girl in July 2004 at the Erie Family Health Center.  The baby’s shoulders became stuck, which led to the child’s birth injury. A few months after the birth, Arteaga received the medical records and consulted a lawyer. The first lawyer to review the case did not believe that the injury was caused by medical negligence.

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