Baby’s Disability Leads to Suit

January 15, 2015

A birth injury lawsuit, filed this month in Pennsylvania, states that the lack of proper medical care by physicians led to a young boy developing severe medical condition. The case was filed by the boy’s mother.

According to court documents, in 2012, the plaintiff gave birth to her son at the Maria de los Santos Health Center (MSHC), marking her second childbirth. He first childbirth experience went smoothly and her oldest child is healthy. Her second childbirth seemed to be going well throughout her prenatal visits at Philadelphia’s Parkview Health Center. However, at 33 weeks gestation, a routine ultrasound indicated that her baby was small for age, in the 53rd percentile.

Mother Gets New Doctor Who Doesn’t Know Her Medical History

In June 2012, the mother was sent to Temple University Hospital after experiencing contractions. While under the care of Dr. Su, of the Parkview Health Center, she was turned over to another physician, Dr. Turner, before Dr. Su provided any medical treatment. Consequently, the lawsuit alleges that Dr. Turner relied only on information given by other medical providers, and did not perform an abdominal or pelvic exam on the mother.

As the mother’s labor began to progress, two additional physicians advised that she would need an emergency C-section. Dr. Turner, reportedly ignoring the advice, stated that he planned to carry out a normal childbirth with the use of a vacuum extraction tool. Dr. Turner asserts that he informed the patient of the risks, and she accepted. Yet, according to the plaintiff, she was never informed of the dangers.

Brachial Plexus Injuries and More

Once Dr. Turner delivered the boy, he was diagnosed with shoulder dystocia. Along with an extremely limp upper left arm, the baby failed to respond to any stimuli. In addition, the infant had a fractured right humerus bone, including concomitant radial nerve injury. He also had a left global brachial plexus injury, resulting in the inability to move his left arm.

After numerous months, the baby still had no left arm function. A microscopic nerve graft surgery was performed, yet it still didn’t help improve function in the baby’s arm. As a result, the infant is now expected to have permanent disabilities in his arm.

Unfortunately, brachial plexus injuries, even with the vast amount of information available, still remains prevalent in hospitals. The aforementioned case is not unusual, as there is never a guarantee that medical treatment will help solve the brachial plexus injuries. In turn, many babies who were delivered improperly will have to live with lifelong disabilities.

Improper Delivery Techniques

Although doctors generally do not purposely cause birth injuries, the wrong decisions and improper delivery techniques can result in devastating consequences. For instance, if an infant is tugged too hard with a vacuum extraction tool, not only is brachial plexus injuries a possibility, but they baby is also at risk for brain bleeding, skull fractures, retinal hemorrhaging, and brain damage.

If an infant exhibits extreme fatigue and seizures after birth, this may be an indication of a serious brain injury. Brain injuries can result in additional medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy, cognitive disorders, emotional and social problems, and more.

Mother Sues For Medical Malpractice

In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the mother filed a lawsuit against Dr. Clinton A. Turner and the Delaware Valley Community Health, also known as MSHC. The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages for her son’s permanent disabilities and bodily harm.