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Fetal Macrosomia

Baltimore Attorneys Representing Families in Birth Injury Cases

Although there is a relatively wide weight range that is considered normal for a newborn, some babies are much larger than average, which is referred to as fetal macrosomia. While diagnosed at birth, doctors can usually determine if a baby is large for its gestational age when the baby is in utero. When a doctor fails to prepare for the possibility of a larger child, it can lead to significant complications and painful birth injuries. If your child was larger than average and suffered a birth injury as a result, it is advisable to speak to a lawyer who can assess the circumstances surrounding your child’s harm to determine whether you may be owed damages. The diligent Baltimore birth injury attorneys of Arfaa Law Group possess the knowledge and resources needed to help families contending with the effects of birth injuries seek redress for their losses, and we will aggressively advocate in your favor.

Risks Associated with Fetal Macrosomia

Fetal macrosomia, which translates literally to a large body, is not necessarily dangerous in and of itself, but it places a child at a higher risk of suffering a birth injury. Typically, an infant will be considered to have this condition if the infant is over a certain weight. Risk factors include parents that are larger than average, gestational diabetes, diabetes mellitus, and excessive weight gain during pregnancy.

Although a baby’s precise weight cannot be determined until the baby is born, ultrasounds can help a doctor determine if a baby measures larger than average and may have macrosomia, which allows the doctor to adjust the mother’s and baby’s care accordingly. For example, if the mother is suffering from a form of diabetes, the doctor may attempt to better manage the diabetes and to limit the mother’s weight gain. Babies suffering from macrosomia face an increased risk of shoulder dystocia, oxygen deprivation, and nerve damage, due to difficulties delivering the babies naturally. Thus, when macrosomia is suspected, doctors will typically schedule a c-section to reduce the risk of harm to the baby.

Factors in Determining Liability for Birth Injuries

Expectant mothers rely on their care providers to prevent the risks of harm to their infants. Unfortunately, however, not all doctors provide adequate care for their patients, and many children suffer birth injuries as a result. The parents of a child who suffers harm at birth due to macrosomia may be able to pursue damages against the mother’s obstetrician-gynecologist and other healthcare providers in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Generally, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit will seek damages under a theory of negligence. In other words, the plaintiff does not have to prove that the defendant healthcare provider purposefully caused the plaintiff’s harm, but must show that the harm was caused by the defendant’s careless actions or failure to act. Specifically, in Maryland, a party alleging medical negligence must show that the defendant had a duty to provide treatment that aligned with the applicable standard of care, which is care that a competent professional practicing in the same specialty would provide under similar circumstances. The plaintiff must also show that the defendant’s treatment of the plaintiff constitutes a breach of the standard. Finally, the plaintiff must prove measurable harm that was caused by the defendant’s breach. In most instances, the plaintiff will need to retain a medical expert to explain the applicable standard of care to the judge or jury, to equate the defendant’s actions with a breach of the standard, and to prove causation. Expert testimony will also typically be needed to establish that any medical treatment related to the injury caused by the defendant was reasonable and necessary.

Speak to an Experienced Birth Injury Attorney

Babies that are larger than expected can suffer significant injuries at birth, which is why an accurate pre-birth assessment of a baby’s weight is critical. If your child suffered a birth injury, you may be able to pursue claims against your healthcare provider. The experienced Baltimore lawyers at Arfaa Law Group can assist you in pursuing any recoverable compensation, to help repair the damages caused by your child’s unnecessary harm. We regularly represent people in birth injury cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can contact us through our form online or at 410-889-1850 to schedule a conference.