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Bradshaw Law, LLC
Bradshaw Law, LLC

Birth injuries: Miscalculation of Fetus Size

Birth injuries: Miscalculation of Fetus Size

Fetus size miscalculation by doctors can cause permanent, or even fatal injuries during labor or delivery. Birth injuries linked to the miscalculation of fetus size can be mild to severe. Temporary and permanent injuries caused by a medical care specialist’s miscalculation may include forceps bruising, cerebral palsy, spinal cord damage, clavicle fractures, paralysis, and even stillbirth.

Estimating Fetus Size

Estimating fetal size is important during pregnancy because it helps medical care providers identify abnormal growth patterns, determine a baby’s due date, and can influence the method of delivery. It is also helpful for planning the birth since a baby that is born extremely large or small is at higher risk of complications. Fetus size calculation may be performed in a number of ways but the two most common are abdominal palpation and ultrasound. 

In most cases, ultrasound is the preferred method because it is more precise. Hadlock’s formula is the more common formula used to determine the size of a fetus. It measures the circumference of the baby’s head, the abdominal circumference, and the length of the femur.  

In some situations, ultrasound technology is not available and abdominal palpations of fetal body parts, along with clinical maternal measurements are performed to estimate fetal weight and length.

While recent studies indicate that ultrasound is the most accurate technique to determine fetal size, mistakes still occur. The chance of an error occurring depends on the medical care specialist’s qualifications, level of concentration, and machine accuracy during the ultrasound test.

Filing Birth Injury Lawsuits Following a Doctor’s Negligence

Not all birth injuries that occur during delivery or labor result from medical malpractice. Filing a birth injury lawsuit involves comprehensive procedures, and the lawsuit must meet certain requirements. The victim must show the negligence of the medical professional by proving a breach of duty of care and causation. Lawyers can assess the events surrounding the accident to uncover whether a professional duty of care was breached. The infant and mother’s injury claims may be presented separately.

Who Is Liable for Birth Injuries Caused by Fetal Size Miscalculation?

When birth injuries are caused by miscalculating the size of a fetus, the ultrasound manufacturer, technologist, doctor, clinic, or hospital may be able to be held liable. Parents who file a birth injury claim may be able to recover compensation for medical costs, medications, adaptive equipment, pain and suffering, and mental anguish.