Cephalopelvic Disproportion during Labor and Delivery

Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) is a complication of childbirth that may occur if the mother’s pelvis is too small to deliver the baby naturally. This condition often leads to a Cesarean section. When CPD is present, healthcare professionals should address it properly. If it is not properly addressed and the child suffers injury as a result, parents may consult Cleveland, Ohio medical malpractice lawyers to review possible legal options such as pursuing a medical malpractice suit.

Causes of Cephalopelvic Disproportion 

This condition may be the result of a small or abnormally shaped pelvis. Most women have a circular-shaped pelvis that allows for a baby to more easily pass through during delivery. But some women’s pelvises are triangular in shape, making it more difficult for a baby to pass through. 

An unusually large baby may also cause CPD which can be attributed to: 

  • diabetes;
  • post-maturity (when the mother has been pregnant for 40+ weeks); or
  • second or subsequent pregnancy. 

Diagnosis of Cephalopelvic Disproportion 

Diagnosis typically does not occur until the mother is in labor, at which point this possible complication of childbirth may become apparent.

However, doctors may suspect possible cephalopelvic disproportion during the pregnancy. At gynecology appointments, ultrasounds can determine the approximate size of the baby.

In addition, the doctor can measure the pelvis and make a determination as to whether or not CPD could apply in the mother’s case. They may not know that CPD will be an issue, though, as the pelvic joints may spread to allow more room for the child.

Doctors should be prepared to handle a case of CPD or other complications of childbirth, especially if the mother and baby are thought to be at risk for CPD. Failure to act appropriately could result in injuries, which could lead parents to consult Cleveland, Ohio medical malpractice lawyers. 

What Doctors Can Do about Labor that Doesn’t Progress 

When labor fails to progress, the doctor will try to speed up the labor. He or she may first rupture the membranes (also known as “breaking the water”). Doctors will monitor the mother to see if this has had any effect on the overall labor.

If no progress has been made, the next step may be to administer oxytocin. This drug helps increase the strength of the contractions and allows them to come at more frequent intervals. Fetal monitoring will be performed to ensure that the baby is not suffering from distress.

If the baby is suffering from distress or no progress has been made, the doctor will likely order a Cesarean section. 

A lack of medical intervention, though, can cause many health complications from the childbirth. Bruising and swelling may occur, but these are usually temporary and are not cause for a lawsuit. CPD may also be associated with shoulder dystocia which may lead to Erb’s palsy or other conditions like a broken collarbone.

While the proper course of action may differ from one case to the next, doctors who fail to act in a manner expected of other reasonable professionals in the same situation may be considered negligent; a Cleveland, Ohio medical malpractice lawyer may consult parents if failure to address this complication of child birth leads to injury. 

Contacting Cleveland, Ohio Medical Malpractice Lawyers 

Although cephalopelvic disproportion cannot be prevented and injuries that result may not be avoided in all cases, doctors have the duty to address this complication of childbirth and take proper precautions during labor and delivery in order to reduce risk or prevent injury.

Cleveland, Ohio medical malpractice lawyers can consult clients to help them understand their legal options following a birth injury related to improper handling of a case of cephalopelvic disproportion.