Gestational diabetes is one of the most common health issues expectant mothers face during pregnancy. This typically occurs when the mother is diagnosed with diabetes the first time she is pregnant. If gestational diabetes is not diagnosed promptly and treated, it may result in conditions such as macrosomia, which refers to abnormally large fetal size, putting the baby at risk for trauma during labor and delivery.
Here are three important facts you should know about gestational diabetes and its link to birth injuries:
1. The risk for gestational diabetes can be determined early.
There are several risk factors for gestational diabetes. For example, a prior diagnosis of gestational diabetes or prediabetes may put the mother at risk as may a family history of type 2 diabetes and an advanced maternal age of over 35. Women with a history of high blood pressure or those who experience significant weight gain during the first 18 to 24 weeks of pregnancy also face this risk. Other medical conditions associated with a risk for diabetes including polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS can also heighten the risk for gestational diabetes.
2. Gestational diabetes increases the risk of macrosomia.
High blood sugar levels during pregnancy are often transmitted to the fetus through the placenta. This may result in the baby becoming larger than average, which significantly increases his or her risk of a traumatic birth. For example, a larger-than-average child may get stuck or injured in the birth canal. A child whose shoulder gets stuck against the mother’s pelvic bone can suffer brachial plexus injuries resulting in brachial plexus palsy or Erb’s palsy. Babies with macrosomia can usually be delivered safely via cesarean section (C-section). However, if macrosomia goes undetected or a C-section is not done in a timely manner, a prolonged and difficult labor may lead to traumatic birth injuries.
3. Gestational diabetes increases the risk of brain damage.
Complications associated with gestational diabetes may result in Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which is a brain injury caused by lack of blood and oxygen flow to the brain. This may happen because of complications such as prolonged labor or traumatic delivery due to macrosomia. Doctors and medical providers should monitor and recognize specific risk factors that lead to birth injuries and provide care that is up to the “standard of care.” HIE has the potential to cause severe brain damage that can result in cerebral palsy, a group of disorders that may affect the person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.
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.
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