Winning a medical malpractice case is difficult without the help of expert witnesses. Doctors undergo years of training and most have years of practice under their belt. For a court to believe that a doctor made an error, they often need the testimony of another doctor to bolster the plaintiff’s case. However, like with any trial, this doesn’t always work as this case from Law Times shows.
The suit was filed when a newborn was permanently injured at birth due to brachial plexus injuries. She lost the full use and development of her left arm. The parents sued the doctors saying they used too much pressure to pull the baby out.
This is a common cause for brachial plexus injuries, especially if the shoulder gets stuck inside the mother. The question for the court is whether or not the doctors performed at the “standard of care” necessary to avoid liability.
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The expert witness said that doctors and obstetricians have a tendency to pull too hard on a baby’s head when their shoulders get stuck and that causes brachial plexus injuries. He also questioned several other procedures done, like placing pressure on the mother’s stomach to squeeze the baby out.
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However, after hearing other evidence, the court believed that the standards of care were met and that excessive force wasn’t applied. The judge opined that there may have been miscommunication on when the mother should and shouldn’t push and that this may have caused the injury, though the lawyer for the defense said that this was “unusual”.