What Is Cephalopelvic Disproportion?

baby foot on monitorCephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) is a complication of pregnancy in which the size of the baby’s head is disproportionate to the size of the mother’s pelvis – a condition that can result in difficulty during labor. It is important that CPD be recognized and that health care professionals understand how to remedy the situation before complications arise that could injure the baby or mother.

Some of the potential causes of CPD include:

  • Increased fetal weight. This can be caused by diabetes, mothers who have had multiple children, hereditary issues, and babies who have gone beyond the due date and further than 42 weeks.
  • Abnormal fetal position including face or brow presentation. Another potential challenge would be if the baby presents in the occipito-posterior position, in which the fetus is positioned facing the abdomen rather than the mother’s back.
  • Cephalopelvic disproportion may be due to a mother’s smaller pelvis or abnormal pelvic shape. Other pelvis problems can include congenital deformity of the sacrum or coccyx or congenital hip dislocation.
  • Genital tract issues, such as tumors, congenital vaginal septum, and cervix scarring can also lead to CPD.

CPD may be diagnosed when the obstetrician uses pelvimetry or ultrasound to assess the size of the birth canal or the size of the baby’s head and body. If it is determined that CPD is present and vaginal delivery will be difficult, the safest and most effective alternative is for the obstetrician to perform a cesarean section (C-section).

Proper fetal monitoring is important to determine the potential for issues such as CPD. Any attempts to deliver the baby naturally when CPD is present can result in serious trauma to the baby, leading to birth injuries. It is important for the doctor to make sure they recognize the signs of a potential complication, because if it is not handled correctly, they could end up causing harm such as a prolapsed or compressed umbilical cord, Erb’s palsy, Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy, and more. Injury to the mother such as uterine rupture or uterine atony may also occur.

If an obstetrician is negligent in diagnosing CPD or does not take the proper steps to prevent potential birth injuries, they may be held legally accountable. Hampton & King has the experience, skill, and tenacity necessary to give you peace of mind knowing your birth injury case is in good hands. Our Houston birth injury attorneys are prepared to review your case and potentially build a case strategy designed to hold the negligent party responsible for the damages you may have incurred. We are ready to help you take the legal action you need to receive compensation and justice.

Believe you’re a victim of medical negligence? Call our firm today.

Categories: Birth Injuries