For more information of confidential assistance
Call 800-306-3180

Mother Demands Compensation in Brachial Plexus Injury Lawsuit

Brachial Plexus Injury LawsuitA woman from New York has filed a brachial plexus injury lawsuit, demanding compensatory damages from The Robert Packer Hospital, Guthrie Clinic, and several healthcare professionals. The lawsuit was filed on August 9, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The Honorable Judge Robert D. Mariani is presiding. This complaint alleges that her minor child suffers from multiple, severe health problems as a result of negligence during the labor and delivery.

The mother is demanding compensation in excess of $75,000, noting that these birth injuries have resulted in significant and ongoing medical expenses and pharmaceutical costs. She also contends that the negligence on the part of the healthcare professionals and the clinic has resulted in “significant pain, suffering, and humiliation,” as well as emotional distress and a significantly reduced quality of life for her minor child.

Minor child born with multiple health problems

The plaintiff first entered the care of the defendants when she was examined on November 7, 2005. She subsequently received prenatal care at Guthrie Clinic. When she was at 42 weeks of gestation, her healthcare professionals decided to induce labor. The plaintiff was admitted to Robert Packer Hospital on May 18, 2006.

Pitocin, or Oxytocin, was used to induce labor. Pitocin is a hormone that causes uterine contractions. According to the plaintiff’s medical records, the attending healthcare professionals increased the dosage of Pitocin multiple times, resulting in dysfunctional contractions. The medical record also reveals that the unborn baby had an abnormal heart rate, yet the attending personnel failed to call an obstetrician to evaluate the situation. During the morning hours of the following day, a nurse unsuccessfully attempted an “accrouchment force” maneuver on the mother, and two hours later again attempted delivery. Thereafter, indications of shoulder dystocia were present. However, an obstetrician was still not called to the room until late that night to complete the delivery.

According to the brachial plexus injury lawsuit, “It was not clear to what extent, if any, (the doctor) was consulted before this time.”
The minor child was diagnosed with numerous birth injuries as an alleged result of the difficult, prolonged labor, and the alleged negligence of the attending healthcare professionals. The child was diagnosed with severe shoulder dystocia, a fractured left humerus, and hypoxic ischemia.

The baby required immediate resuscitation and intubation. Doctors further noted the “possibility of severe neurodevelopmental deficits” and “mild clonic activity of all four limbs.” The baby was later diagnosed with perinatal depression, brachial plexus injuries, olguria, seizures, and a subarachnoid hemorrhage. These injuries required surgery and subsequent reconstructive surgery.

Brachial plexus injuries refer to damage to the bundle of nerves located in the upper body. These nerves are critical for movement control in the shoulder, arm, and hand. Damage to these nerves can lead to paralysis, which can be permanent. Brachial plexus injuries are often caused when too much force is exerted during delivery, or when tools such as forceps are improperly used during delivery.

Plaintiff alleges birth injury malpractice

The lawsuit contends that the doctor was negligent in failing to examine the mother in a timely manner during the labor, failing to conduct a pelvic exam at the time of admittance, failing to properly monitor the baby’s fetal heart rate, and failing to administer appropriate treatment.

The birth injury malpractice complaint argues that Pitocin was used inappropriately and should have been discontinued. The attending midwife is also charged with similar acts of negligence, and the lawsuit demands that the hospital be held liable for failing to properly train and supervise its staff members.