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Can Fetal Macrosomia Cause Birth Injuries?

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Fetal macrosomia is a medical term, which means that the baby’s weight at birth is greater than 8 pounds and 13 ounces. When a child grows at a rate that is faster than other babies of the same gestational age, it is a cause for concern and puts him or her at serious risk for birth injuries. Fetal macrosomia is considered to be a serious complication in pregnancies. It requires diligent monitoring and very likely, frequent visits to the doctor’s office.

Your doctor and medical team should be vigilant about keeping a watch on your child’s progress and your medical needs especially as you get close to labor and delivery. Fetal macrosomia may complicate vaginal delivery and may put the baby at risk of injury during birth. Fetal macrosomia also places the baby at increased risk of health problems after birth.

Symptoms and Risks

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are certain signs and symptoms of fetal macrosomia. One of them is “large fundal height.” During your prenatal visits, your doctor might measure your fundal height, which is essentially the distance from the top of the uterus to the pubic bone. If the fundal height is larger than expected, that may be a sign of fetal macrosomia.

Also, when there is excess amniotic fluid – the fluid that surrounds and protects the fetus during pregnancy – it might be a sign that your baby is larger than average. This is because the amount of amniotic fluid denotes the baby’s urine output. A larger baby would produce more urine. In addition, some conditions that increase a baby’s size may increase his or her urine output.

One of the most common risk factors for fetal macrosomia is when the mother has health issues such as diabetes. When this occurs, the fetus tends to store more fat than is necessary. This extra fat tends to give the child larger shoulders, which may lead to a condition called shoulder dystocia where the child’s shoulders get lodged against the mother’s pelvic area during delivery. This often leads to birth injuries such as Erb’s palsy or brachial plexus palsy especially when an obstetrician attempts to get the child out of the birth canal using excessive force or by incorrect use of assistive tools such as forceps or vacuum extractors.

Other risks of fetal macrosomia include:

• History: If you’ve previously given birth to a baby diagnosed with fetal macrosomia, your risk of having another baby who has the condition significantly increases.
• Maternal obesity: If the mother is obese, she is more likely to give birth to a child that is larger than average. This is also likely if the mother gains excessive weight during pregnancy.
• Child’s gender: Male infants typically weigh more than females. Most babies who weigh over 9 pounds are males.
• Overdue pregnancy: If your pregnancy goes two weeks past your due date, your baby is at an increased risk of fetal macrosomia.
• Mother’s age: Women older than 35 are more likely to have a baby diagnosed with fetal macrosomia.

Responsibility of Medical Professionals

Failing to detect the risks and complications of fetal macrosomia in a timely manner may result in serious birth injuries leaving children with long-term or even lifelong disabilities. A child may suffer brain damage, paralysis or facial injuries because of a long and difficult delivery caused by fetal macrosomia. Doctors should make a timely decision whether a Cesarean section (C-section) might be the safest way to deliver a child in such instances.

If the labor gets complicated and the baby is in distress, it is crucial that the doctor makes a decision to carry out an emergency C-section. Failing to take such a decisive action during a difficult labor and delivery or failing to diagnose a child with fetal macrosomia could well amount to medical negligence.

Contacting a Birth Injury Lawyer

Dealing with the long-term birth injury complications might be challenging emotionally and financially. You may be able to file a birth injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, loss of livelihood, hospital and rehabilitation costs, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.

If your child has suffered birth injuries, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. One of our clients secured a $2,850,000 verdict that was reduced by the appeals court to $1,846,000 because the verdict was so large. This was the highest amount upheld by the appellate courts for many, many years. In addition we recovered $1,400,000 for a newborn who lost motion in the arm during birth due to the doctors applying incorrect force on the baby’s head.

We have seen many cases where New York City Health and Hospital Corporation hospitals deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or erb’s palsy stemming from negligence and/or medical malpractice in the labor and delivery etc. of the children. The following list identifies some of these hospitals (operated by New York City Health and Hospital Corporation):

• Jacobi Hospital aka Bronx Municipal 1400 Pelham Parkway South Bronx, New York 10461 718-918-5000
• Lincoln Hospital 234 East 149th Street Bronx, New York 10451 718-579-5000
• North Central Bronx Hospital 3424 Kossuth Avenue Bronx, New York 10467 718-519-5000
• Coney Island Hospital 2601 Ocean Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11235 718-616-3000
• Kings County Hospital 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203 718-245-3131 BIGGEST HOSPITAL IN THE WORLD
• Woodhull Hospital 760 Broadway Brooklyn, New York 11206 718-963-8000
• Bellevue Hospital 462 First Avenue New York, New York 10016 212-562-5555
• Harlem Hospital 506 Lenox Avenue New York, New York 10037 212-939-1000
• Metropolitan Hospital 1901 First Avenue New York, New York 10029 212-423-6262
• Elmhurst Hospital 79-01 Broadway Elmhurst, New York 11373 718-334-4000
• Queens Hospital Center 82-68 164th Street Jamaica, New York 11432 718-883-3000

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU(1-800-967-5496).  WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

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