Charlotte Lawyers for Cerebral Palsy Caused by Cephalopelvic Disproportion (CPD)

Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) occurs when the baby’s head is too large to fit through the mother’s pelvis during birth, the risk of cephalopelvic disproportion increases. Often, the complications and risks associated with CPD could have been avoided had the proper preventative measures been taken. When timely detected, medical practitioners can quickly begin to address and treat the issue to mitigate risks and prevent harm to both the mother and the child.

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Medical professionals, including both doctors and nurses, owe their patients a duty to provide them reasonable medical care. When doctors fail to properly diagnose and treat cephalopelvic disproportion, the baby can suffer serious medical harm, including cerebral palsy.

In severe cases, medical malpractice can result in the death of the baby or the mother or both. If your child suffered an injury caused by the negligence of medical personnel involving cephalopelvic disproportion, it is important that you speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to schedule a case evaluation with our skilled attorneys and discuss your legal options.

Risk Factors for Injuries Caused by Cephalopelvic Disproportion

Doctors have a duty to properly monitor pregnancies in order to prevent an injury to both mothers and infants in childbirth. Certain pregnant women are more likely to experience pregnancy with cephalopelvic disproportion and have commonly experienced one or more of the following:

  • Maternal obesity
  • Infertility treatment
  • Polyhydramnios
  • Previous cesarean delivery
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Gestational age of over 41 weeks
  • Multiparity (the mother has been pregnant previously)
  • Transverse diagonal measurement
  • Short stature
  • Advanced maternal age (35 or older)
  • A history of childhood calcium deficiency or rickets
  • A variety of problems with the birth canal or pelvis

While the most common cause of cephalopelvic disproportion is due to the head or body of the baby being too big to fit through the mother’s pelvis, there are still other causes of cephalopelvic disproportion, including the following:

  • Pelvic exostoses, which are bony growths on the pelvis
  • Contracted pelvis in which the mother’s pelvis is smaller than normal
  • Spondylolisthesis happens when a spinal bone slips out of the correct position onto the bone below it
  • The baby is large due to gestational diabetes or hydrocephalus
Doctors Must Pay Attention to the Warning Signs of Cephalopelvic Disproportion

Anytime a pregnant woman has any of the risk factors of cephalopelvic disproportion or shows signs of cephalopelvic disproportion, doctors have a duty to provide adequate treatment.

Additionally, when labor is progressing for a long time, the doctor should investigate whether cephalopelvic disproportion could be the cause of the difficulties. When doctors wait too long to require an emergency cesarean section (c-section), the mother and baby can incur injury.

Diagnosing Cephalopelvic Disproportion

When doctors suspect that cephalopelvic disproportion could be an issue, they need to try to assess the baby’s size as well as the size of the mother’s pelvis. Doctors use some of the following procedures to diagnose cephalopelvic disproportion:

  • Clinical pelvimetry uses the hands and/or a pelvimeter to assess the size of the birth canal.
  • An ultrasound can be used to measure the baby’s head and body size. Doctors can compare the measurements of the baby’s head against standardized growth charts to determine whether cephalopelvic disproportion is an issue.
  • Pelvimetry with an MRI involves a doctor using an MRI machine to determine the size of the pelvis as well as the position of the baby. MRI’s can also examine the baby and mother’s soft tissue.
  • X-rays or CT pelvimetry consists of a radiographic examination to determine the size of the mother’s pelvis and the diameter of the baby’s head. There is a risk of radiation exposure which doctors must weigh against the risk of cephalopelvic disproportion.
Examples of Medical Malpractice Involving Cephalopelvic Disproportion

Physicians caring for patients facing cephalopelvic disproportion need to use reasonable care when diagnosing and treating this condition. When doctors fail to properly monitor cephalopelvic disproportion or wait too long to conduct a c-section, the following birth injuries can result:

  • Prolonged labor which could result in oxygen-deprivation for the baby. Oxygen deprivation can cause hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, cerebral palsy, intracranial hemorrhages (brain bleeds), and developmental delays.
  • The baby is at an increased risk of shoulder dystocia when cephalopelvic disproportion happens. Erb’s Palsy and Klumpke’s palsy can also happen.
  • The compression of the umbilical cord can happen when the baby does not have enough room in the uterus. When the umbilical cord becomes compressed, oxygen deprivation can happen.

When physicians fail to properly treat cephalopelvic disproportion, babies can suffer serious medical complications. These complications can cause debilitating life-long complications.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer Today

Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC as soon as possible to schedule a case evaluation with one our skilled medical malpractice attorneys. 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.

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