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Medical malpractice suit filed over newborn's shoulder dystocia


When we go to the doctor or to the hospital, we expect that we will receive professional care. Medical malpractice is a frightening subject for anyone in Worcester to contemplate. But perhaps among the most disturbing examples of medical malpractice is when a doctor's negligence causes a birth injury to a baby during delivery.

One case of a birth injury in the Midwest has recently gone to trial. According to the mother, the doctor was negligent in not performing a timely c-section due to the baby's weight. The doctor did make a note of shoulder dystocia during delivery, and after a number of attempts and turning the baby, the child was born with a noticeably limp left arm.

The mother has since filed a lawsuit against the doctor, claiming that the excessive way in which he tilted the baby's head during delivery caused her to suffer nerve root damage and limited movement in that arm. At a recent hearing, the girl -- now three years old -- was brought into the courtroom to demonstrate for jurors her inability to bend or lift the arm.

Of course, delivery can be a complicated procedure, and not all birth injuries will rise to the level of medical malpractice. However, when a baby is born with injuries to the nerves in the upper arm, it's important to look more closely at the circumstances surrounding the delivery. Were there signs that a doctor should have noticed that suggested a c-section be performed? Did the doctor apply excessive force during delivery?

These are not questions that parents will likely be able to answer on their own, especially during the emotional and challenging days after a baby is born with such an injury. A legal professional may be able to help answer these parents' questions and advise them on how to proceed.

Source: The Madison-St. Clair Record, "Child's birth injury subject of medical malpractice case at trial," Ann Maher, Aug. 12, 2014

Source: The Madison-St. Clair Record, "Child's birth injury subject of medical malpractice case at trial," Ann Maher, Aug. 12, 2014

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