Fetal Macrosomia and Birth Injuries: What You Need to Know

Fetal macrosomia refers to a condition where the fetus or newborn is larger than average and is usually considered a significant risk during a pregnancy. Causes for fetal macrosomia include issues such as gestational diabetes and maternal obesity. One of the biggest complications arising from macrosomia is when the baby does move freely through the mother’s pelvis, which might result in birth-related trauma to both the baby and the mother.

When the baby is stuck against the mother’s pelvic bone, for instance, it can also result in other serious problems such as oxygen deprivation, which may in turn lead to catastrophic brain injury. In many cases, a Cesarean section or C-section will be required to avoid these risks and potential dangers. Medical negligence (carelessness) and not properly managing a macrosomic baby and/or not performing a C-section when needed may result in permanent injuries and disabilities in the newborn.

What Are the Symptoms of a Macrosomic Baby?

Here are some of the common ways in which macrosomia is diagnosed during pregnancy:

Fundal height: The distance from the top of the uterus to the pubic bone is known as “fundal height.” The greater the fundal height, the larger your baby is likely to be.

Longer pregnancy: If your pregnancy is running longer, you are more likely to have a larger baby. The baby continues to grow as the pregnancy continues. When you go beyond 40 weeks, the risk of macrosomia increases.

Excessive amniotic fluid: Having too much amniotic fluid may also be a symptom of a larger baby. The fluid that surrounds the baby in the uterus, known as the amniotic fluid, reflects the amount of urine the baby produces. Larger babies produce more urine and therefore, this is a sign that the baby may be larger than average.

Complications That May Arise

Here are some of the complications that may arise as the result of giving birth to a larger than average baby:

Shoulder dystocia: A larger baby may get stuck against the mother’s pelvic region and cause delivery complications. Often, the shoulder gets stuck against the pelvic bone. The pressure caused by shoulder dystocia may result in injuries to the nerves of the brachial plexus and cause brachial plexus palsy or Erb’s palsy.

Injuries from birth-assistive tools: Excessive force and inappropriate use of birth-assistive instruments such as forceps and vacuum extractors may lead to brachial plexus injuries and brain bleeds resulting in brain injuries and cerebral palsy.

C-section: Macrosomia may require that a C-section be carried out promptly. If a baby becomes stuck in the birth canal, it is imperative to get him or her out as soon as possible. Delaying a C-section may result in permanent or irreversible brain damage due to oxygen deprivation. The medical team needs to be prepared to move forward with such a decision expeditiously.

Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy or HIE: This is a type of brain injury caused by severe oxygen deprivation and may result in permanent injuries and conditions such as cerebral palsy, seizures and learning disabilities.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

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 in an Erb’s palsy (brachial plexus palsy) case 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 (appeals) 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 doctors applying incorrect force on the baby’s head. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

We have seen many cases where New York City Health and Hospital Corporation facilities deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) stemming from negligence (carelessness), 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
• 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/or 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.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com

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