At the end of a long and exhausting pregnancy, every mother hopes for a smooth labor and delivery. This isn’t always the case for a variety of reasons; sometimes that reason is cephalopelvic disproportion, or CPD. This essentially means that an infant’s head is too large to fit through its mother’s pelvis. Once CPD is discovered, appropriate action must be taken by your medical team to ensure safe delivery. If a doctor fails to act, and mom or baby is harmed as a result, he or she may be guilty of medical malpractice. If you or your child has been harmed by a doctor’s negligence in this way, continue reading to learn more or call our offices at to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
What Is CPD?
CPD is when a baby cannot fit through its mother’s pelvis. It could be because the baby’s head or body is too big, or because the mother’s pelvis is abnormally small. Either way, CPD makes it so natural delivery is unable to progress past that point, and medical intervention is necessary.
Who’s at Risk?
You may be at risk for CPD if your baby is particularly large due to:
- Not being delivered until after its due date
- Not being your first pregnancy
- CPD can also result from abnormal fetal positions or an abnormally shaped pelvis. Gestational diabetes is the number one factor associated with CPD.
Signs of CPD
There are some signs to look out for that should warn your doctor that your child is suffering from CPD, including:
- Longer than average labor
- Signs of fetal distress such as low fetal heart rate or oxygen levels
- Large fundal height, the distance between the pubic bone and the top of the uterus
- Abnormally high volume of amniotic fluid
- Improper assessment of the size of the baby’s head from ultrasound readings
- Attempting to pull a baby through too narrow of a pelvis
- Failure to order a timely C-section
- Overuse of labor inducing drugs in an effort to progress labor
Your doctor should be keeping a close eye as labor progresses. If the process isn’t moving along as it should, or if there are any other indications of CPD, your doctor must appropriately assess and resolve the situation. For CPD, since the baby cannot be delivered naturally, a Caesarian section may be ordered.
Mistakes Made in the Diagnoses or Treatment of CPD
Unfortunately, mistakes can involve:
These mistakes can lead to serious complications. Failing to order a C-section when labor can no longer progress naturally can put the lives of both mother and child at risk. Overusing labor inducing drugs can result in uterine rupture, and forcing a baby through too small of a pelvis can lead to permanent pelvic injury.
If you or your child has been harmed by a doctor’s mistake in diagnosing or treating CPD, you can trust one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys to guide you carefully through the complexities of filing a medical malpractice claim. Please call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to schedule your free consultation.