Expecting parents have a lot to worry about. From learning about infant care to picking the color of the baby’s room, there are many different concerns for parents. Worrying about the safety of the child during birth is not one that many expect though. A lawsuit filed earlier this year in Illinois deals directly with such a situation.
Filed on Feb. 27, 2012 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, the suit alleges medical malpractice against an obstetrician at the MetroSouth Medical Center. The parents of a toddler born at the end of 2009 believe that the child, while being delivered, experienced shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia is when the shoulder of a child gets stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone during the birthing process. The child is lodged and a normal delivery becomes impossible.
In such a situation, it is a doctor’s duty to fix the situation and deliver the child while minimizing any risk for injury. The parents of the child allege that the doctor used greater than gentle traction to dislodge the child. They believe that his supposed negligence affected the head and neck of the boy, causing permanent neurological injury and damage to the baby’s brachial plexus nerves.
When nerve damage such as this occurs, it can cause a child to have an arm that is partially or fully paralyzed for the rest of his or her life. The condition that the child is experiencing is called Erb’s palsy and the parents are seeking more than $50,000 in reparations for the past, current and future expenses that will be associated with the damage they believe was done by the doctor.
The lawsuit has called the boy’s injuries severe, permanent and irreversible. He will likely need ongoing and extensive medical care and may require surgeries and hospitalizations at a more frequent rate than other children.
Source: Injury Lawyer News, “Illinois Lawsuit Charges Infant’s Erb’s Palsy Caused by Medical Negligence,” Tracy Ray, June 22, 2012