Charlotte Cerebral Palsy From Macrosomia Lawyers
Fetal macrosomia occurs when an infant’s weight is 90% higher that the average weight of babies in the same age range, causing them to be considered large for their gestational age. Pregnancies resulting in macrosomia place the mother and infant at high-risk for medical complications. In the United States, it is estimated that a little more than 10% of all pregnancies result in macrosomia. Macrosomia is preventable so long as medical practitioners perform the appropriate maternal health screenings and routine monitoring of the mother’s health during pregnancy.
If unable to prevent the development of macrosomia, it is crucial that doctors diagnose macrosomia as early as possible prior to the birth and monitor the pregnancy for any changes. By failing to diagnose macrosomia and consequently failing to properly treat both the mother and infant, medical practitioners may be viewed as failing to maintain the proper standard of care in breach of their professional duty.What is Macrosomia?
Macrosomia happens when a baby is born larger than an average infant for their gestational age. Gestational age refers to the number of weeks the baby has grown in the uterus, or how long the mother has been pregnant. On average, babies weigh between 5 pounds, 8 ounces, and 8 pounds, 13 ounces at full term. As mentioned, babies who are born in the 90th percentile or higher in weight for their gestational age will receive a diagnosis of macrosomia.Risk Factors for Microsomia
There are many risk factors for microsomia, and doctors have a duty to remain vigilant if the pregnant woman has any of the following risk factors:
- The mother is obese
- The baby has a medical condition
- The mother had diabetes before she got pregnant or developed diabetes during the pregnancy
- The mother is two or more weeks past her due date
- The mother is over age 35
- The mother had high blood pressure during the pregnancy
- The mother gained an excessive amount of weight during the pregnancy
Every doctor needs to ask about the mother’s medical history as well as her history of past pregnancies. Doctors can attempt to measure the baby’s size through an ultrasound to see if they suspect macrosomia. However, these measurements are never completely accurate. Ultrasounds use sound waves to view the baby in the uterus. While ultrasounds are not completely accurate, they can estimate whether or not the baby is too large.
Doctors should also check the amount of amniotic fluid through an ultrasound. If the doctors can detect an excess amount of amniotic fluid, then the baby may be producing more urine and could have macrosomia. When doctors suspect macrosomia, they usually need to conduct regular nonstress tests to measure the baby’s heartbeat when the baby moves.
Doctors also measure the height of the fundus, which is the length between the top of the mother’s uterus and the mother’s pubic bone. When the pubis is larger than normal, this could indicate that the baby has macrosomia. Doctors create biophysical profiles of the babies. This test combines an ultrasound with a nonstress test to monitor the baby’s breathing, movements, and level of amniotic fluid.Complications Caused by Macrosomia
When a baby has macrosomia, the pregnancy will be higher risk. When a baby is diagnosed with macrosomia, the following problems can happen:
- The baby’s shoulder could become lodged in the birth canal, causing shoulder injuries and potential injury to the mother
- The baby’s bones, including the clavicle bone, could become fractured
- Labor could take significantly longer, causing the baby to not receive an adequate flow of oxygen
- Doctors may need to use vacuum delivery or forceps
- A cesarean delivery might be needed
- The baby could suffer from a lack of oxygen flow
- Injury to the mother’s vagina or perineal muscles
- Bleeding after delivery which can be extremely dangerous and even cause the death of the mother
- Uterine rupture can happen when the uterus tears during delivery. Uterine ruptures are life-threatening
- Babies that are heavier are more likely to be obese during their childhood
- Sometimes babies have abnormal blood sugar
When a baby is too large and a doctor does not take the necessary precautions, the baby’s brain can become cut off from oxygen. When the brain experiences a lack of oxygen, the child can be diagnosed with cerebral palsy.Contact Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
If you or your child suffered an injury during the birthing process due to medical malpractice involving macrosomia, our lawyers can help. You may be entitled to damages for your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit. Contact our experience attorney’s at Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule your consultation as soon as possible. Call our office at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville, and Monroe.