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Birth Injury Lawsuit Claims Child Suffers Permanent Disability

Stethoscope On BabyThe United States has been named as a defendant in a new birth injury lawsuit, which was recently filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a West Virginia mother and her infant child. She claims that a certified nurse midwife exhibited careless, reckless, and negligent care during her labor and delivery. As a result, she alleges that her child suffers from permanent disability.

Allegations in the lawsuit

According to the claim, the plaintiff became a patient of the nurse midwife on December 13, 2014. The midwife was an employee of Family Care Health Center in West Virginia. Because the medical center is a government entity, the U.S. was named as the defendant, rather than the facility itself or the medical provider.

When the plaintiff presented at the medical clinic for labor and delivery, it was determined that the unborn child displayed shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia occurs when the infant’s head has been delivered, yet the anterior shoulder of the child remains lodged in the birth canal. This can cause serious problems for both mother and child. It is unknown which factors may have been involved with this particular case since details are lacking; however, certain risk factors may contribute to shoulder dystocia. For example, this emergency may be more common among women who are pregnant with multiples, those with diabetes, those with very large babies, and those who have labor induced through medications.

It is possible to deliver a healthy baby despite shoulder dystocia; however, this condition may indicate a need for an emergency C-section. The lawsuit filed on behalf of the West Virginia mother does not indicate whether emergency C-section was performed.

It does claim that the defendants ought to be held liable for the allegedly negligent care that resulted in the plaintiff’s daughter’s right brachial plexus injury. The mother demands compensatory damages pursuant to the Federal Torts Claims Act.

She is demanding damages for her daughter’s past and future medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, humiliation and embarrassment, and the anticipated loss of future earning capacity.

Brachial plexus injuries

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves located in the shoulder. It is responsible for passing along impulses from the nerves in the spine to the shoulder and down the arm into the hand. Brachial plexus injuries occur when this bundle of nerves sustains damage. There are varying degrees of severity. The nerves may only be mildly stretched or they may be completely torn away from the spinal cord. Brachial plexus injuries can occur among adults who suffer from traumatic accidents, such as motorcycle accidents.

However, they can also affect newborns who displayed shoulder dystocia during delivery. If the attending medical provider does not perform an emergency C-section when it is medically necessary, he or she will likely use physical maneuvers in an attempt to free the baby’s shoulders from the birth canal. The exertion of excessive force on the baby can result in a brachial plexus injury. In severe cases, children with brachial plexus injuries suffer from lifelong paralysis of the affected arm.