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The 4 Main Types of Obstetrics Claims (Part 3)

Intra Uterine Growth Restriction/Small for Gestational Age

Babies with intrauterine growth restriction or who are small for gestational age are more likely to be injured if they suffer oxygen deprivation in the womb. Intrauterine growth restriction arises when there are not enough nutrients moving from mom to baby through the placenta. The theory is that, if the lack of nutrition is severe enough and the pregnancy is far enough along, the baby would be better off receiving nutrition outside of the womb. Liability can arise if a doctor does not identify that the baby is not growing appropriately and a fetus suffers an injury as a result.

The DD v Wong case, which was successfully prosecuted by Weir Bowen, is an example of this kind of case. In that case, the fetus was smaller than expected as the due date approached, and an ultrasound was performed which showed a small baby and too much amniotic fluid. The doctor did not see the ultrasound results, and because of that, he did not perform a follow up ultrasound to re-check the baby’s size. The baby should have been delivered a few days before the mother went into labour. The day before the mother went into labour, the baby suffered a hypoxic ischemic insult (oxygen deprivation) which caused a permanent brain injury and cerebral palsy.

By Shelagh McGregor