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Cephalopelvic disproportion is what happens when a baby’s head or body is too large and the baby cannot fit through the mother’s pelvis during labor. If a diagnosis of “failure to progress” is given during labor, it could be because of cephalopelvic disproportion. Failure to progress means that the labor is going too slowly or it’s stuck in the birth canal. A mother will have to undergo a C-section, or a cesarean section, when this condition is present. A C-section involves a doctor making an incision through the mother’s abdomen and uterus to deliver the baby. Cephalopelvic disproportion is rare, as it only occurs in 1 out of every 250 pregnancies.
It usually cannot be diagnosed prior to labor. A doctor may use an ultrasound to determine the size of the baby, but it’s not always accurate when it comes to the baby’s weight. A physical examination that measures pelvis size is going to be the best option, typically, for diagnosing cephalopelvic disproportion. If oxytocin and changing the baby’s position do not make a difference, then a doctor will need to resort to performing a C-section on the mother.
Symptoms of Cephalopelvic Disproportion
There are a few ways doctors can decide that cephalopelvic disproportion is at play during a pregnancy. They include the following:
- There’s an abnormal fetal position
- The mother has an abnormally shaped pelvis
- The mother’s pelvis is too narrow or small
- The infant’s head is an abnormal shape
- The baby is large
- The labor is taking too long
- There’s a lot of amniotic fluid
- There’s fetal distress
- The delivery is late
Since cephalopelvic disproportion is so rare, other issues may be occurring, so it is up to a doctor to make the correct diagnosis.
However, if the doctor does not make the correct diagnosis or medical decision, then complications could arise, including:
- Developmental delays, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and cerebral palsy due to a prolonged labor and lack of oxygen
- Brain bleeds
- Erb’s palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Overdose of Pitocin
- Umbilical cord compression
Treatment for Cephalopelvic Disproportion
Treatment is going to depend on what kind of birth injuries came about as a result of the failure to treat cephalopelvic disproportion in the proper way. For instance, if a doctor does a planned C-section or does the emergency C-section at the right time, then that’s all the treatment that may be needed and the baby will come out healthy. The mother will be healthy, too.
However, if the C-section is delayed or the mother or baby are improperly diagnosed, then the baby may suffer from short-term or long-term injuries. Short-term injuries like Erb’s palsy and shoulder dystocia may only require a baby to do range-of-motion exercises, go to physical therapy, and receive massages. Long-term injuries like brain damage and cerebral palsy may result in a baby having to go to the doctor for regular medical care, seeing a physical or occupational therapist often, using medical equipment like a wheelchair in order to be mobile, and taking prescription medicine. Long-term injuries could last well into their adult life and never heal.
How Do I Know if Medical Malpractice Caused Cephalopelvic Disproportion?
You may believe that your doctor or other medical professionals who were delivering your baby were responsible for your baby’s injuries. You’d like to sue for medical malpractice. The thing is that proving medical malpractice is extremely tough, and you need the right evidence to back up your claim.
For instance, you may have medical records showing that your doctor did not plan a C-section even though your baby had some issues. Or, if an emergency C-section had to take place right away, maybe they delayed doing it and that you think that caused your baby’s injuries. Perhaps they were in and out of the room when you were in labor and not paying attention to the monitoring systems. There are so many factors that could have caused your baby’s injuries, and you’ll need an experienced birth injury lawyer in your corner who can help.
Hiring a lawyer is critical because then, you’ll have a better chance of winning your lawsuit. When you call a lawyer, they will assess your evidence and let you know if they think you have a valid case. Most medical malpractice cases do not go through because you need to have the right evidence to prove that your doctor acted in a negligent manner and that caused your baby to become injured. The bar is set high so that people don’t constantly sue their doctors and devastate the healthcare industry. You don’t want to waste your time and energy, so consulting with a lawyer is your best bet right now.
How Much Will I Receive From a Cephalopelvic Disproportion Settlement?
You never know how much you’re going to receive in a settlement until you get an offer from the defendant. You could win damages for:
- Medical bills
- Loss of companionship and enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical care
- Loss of earning capacity
Your lawyer will calculate the amount of your damages and then attempt to go for the highest settlement possible depending on the facts surrounding your case. If your baby suffered from short-term injuries, your medical bills will be lower and you won’t get as high of a settlement. But if your baby suffered from long-term injuries, your bills will higher and your settlement will be as well.
Settlement Offers in a Cephalopelvic Disproportion Case
The way a typical medical malpractice case goes is your lawyer will provide you with a consultation and ask about the details of your case. They’ll need you to hand over the evidence you have including medical records, photographs, witness statements, and receipts, and then calculate the damages for you. Then, they will reach out to the defendant and try to work out a settlement offer. If the defendant does not want to settle, you could take them to court. Typically, though, defendants settle because going to court would be a bigger waste of time and money. Plus, they’d be putting their reputation on the line if the public found out about the medical malpractice claims. They could lose much more in that scenario.
Why Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer?
A birth injury lawyer will pursue your case and give you the best chance of winning a settlement. You need to take care of your baby now, and having a lawyer on your side will give you the freedom and space to do just that.
Cephalopelvic Disproportion Birth Injury Attorneys
If your baby suffered from a cephalopelvic disproportion injury, now is the time to get in touch with the birth injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian. They are standing by and ready to help you with your case.
Contact Gilman & Bedigian 24/7 for a free consultation at (800) 529-6162.