Child Birth Malpractice Lawsuit

Hi Everyone,

I need some advice. My daughter was just born 3 days ago. When I was in the delivery room I saw some shocking things but I was helpless because I didn’t think to tell medical professionals on how to do things.

Basically, the doctor stood on a little stool so he was above the belly of my wife and use his full force (both hands) to press down on her belly, using the full force of his weight.

On the other hand, a nurse used a suction device to pull the baby. It even disconnected once and her arm violentlu fell back, indicating to me that she was using a lot of force. She attached the suction device again and kept pulling , not just towards herself , but also up and down vertically. It was so obvious that I could feel this even though I was standing at the opposite end, next to my wife.

The delivery doctor and nurse disappeared after the delivery. My daughter looked healthy otherwise but she was very small, just 2800 grams.

2 days later another nurse told me her right side was swollen and I should go for an x-ray. Today at x-ray I found out her right clavicle was broken, as in broken in the middle, not even connected.

Now I understand why she cried so much these days. This doctor who did the checkup and x-ray was very causal about it and said just go home it will get fixed in a few months. When I asked why it happened, they said it happens to 2 to 3 babies in every 100 births.

The doctor didn’t even set a follow up appointment. He said he is a general pediatrician, I can find someone else.

I feel very angry and upset at the overall experience. My wife is crying so much. I can’t. I try to comfort her.

I am not sure, but my gut tells me they used unnecessary force to pull out the baby causing her clavicle fracture.

I want to know if I should consider finding a lawyer and suing them. I don’t want money. I just want them to pay for their negligence. I just want them to pay for hurting my baby.

I talked to a couple of Taiwanese colleagues but they all dismissed me saying it’s not a big deal.

Any one else had such experience ? Any advice ?

P.S the hospital was KMUH

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Hope your baby will get well soon.

I’m not sure if it makes you feel better, but what the doctor said seems to be true.
https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/conditions/newborn-clavicle-fractures##targetText=The%20most%20common%20symptom%20associated,much%20as%20the%20uninjured%20arm.

I think it may be one of common treatments when a baby doesn’t come out smoothly by some reasons. I cannot know if that was unnecessary treatment, but guess it would be hard to prove it even if it were so.

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First of all I’m sorry to hear about what happened to your baby.
My baby was born few months ago too.
The doctor told us that the baby is not “low” enough so she gave us two options.
Vacuum extraction or C-section, she also explained to us the risks of each method.
The vacuum extraction could change the shape of the baby’s head and the C-section could damage the womb of my wife.
So we choosed vacuum extraction but thankfully my wife was able to deliver our baby without using the vacuum.
I saw them pressing my wife’s belly down too like you mentioned, I was also terrified when I saw it.
Thankfully my baby is healthy.
I think they should let you know first if they’re going to use the vacuum and explain to you the risks.
Sorry I can’t give you advice about legal matters, maybe others can give their opinion.
Hoping for your baby’s fast recovery.

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Childbirth is messy. Ideally they would have told your wife about the C-section option, but I assume she was on drugs by that point.

I think it’s highly unlikely you will win any legal action. Consult a lawyer and see what they have to say.

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I cannot know what is the truth, but I think most probably they did it to save your baby from possible more severe damages.

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Childbirth is inherently dangerous. I’ve read the main factor is the size of our heads, needed to hold our big brains, even though we have to give birth relatively very early compared to other mammals, as can be seen by the helpless state of our infants for a long period after birth. Most mammals have relatively easy childbirth by comparison.

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I’m sorry for your experience. I also had a shitty experience at the clinic where my daughter was born. The delivering nurse had a hacking cough… which we later discovered was pneumonia… and spread it to my daughter and half a dozen other newborns. My daughter needed to be quarantined in NICU at 4 days old, and we could only visit her for 10 minutes a day dressed in hospital scrubs. What should’ve been the happiest time of my life was a nightmare because they let a sick nurse with a fever help to deliver babies. Of course the clinic denied it and claimed the virus was brought from outside, but we and other parents knew the truth. Thankfully my daughter made a full recovery, but it really traumatized me and my wife. We almost lost our only child due to their damn incompetence. We considered suing, but figured the slim chance of winning (as a foreigner against a huge clinic) was not worth the emotional and financial considerations, especially since she was fully recovered. It’s made us shy to have a second one here to be honest.

Sorry, just wanted to share my story too, and also extend along my best wishes for you and your family during this trying time.

Shoulder dystocia are commonly seen in vaginal delivery when mother has a petite frame and small pelvic rim. During difficult labor doctor would break the clavicle to decrease the shoulder width and pull the baby out to prevent suffocation and aspiration of meconium fluid.

As long as the APGAR score is above 7 (1-10) there shouldn’t be any permanent or irreversible damage to the infant.

wish her a speedy recover. So sorry to hear about your experience.

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I would be upset if I had to witness that. The problem I see with a lawsuit is this: if you live in Taiwan and it happened in Taiwan, you would have to sue in the Taiwan courts.

If the care you witnessed is the “standard of care” in Taiwan, meaning all Taiwanese doctors do it that way, then you can’t prove that the medical care was negligent. The hospital will assert that they meet the expected standard in Taiwan. You would be trying to apply foreign legal standards to Taiwanese medical care.

On the other hand, if this type of conduct is rare and there are Taiwan hospitals with a much better standard of care, with written policies (or expert witnesses who can testify as such), then maybe your suit would have merit.

Then the next question is: what are the damages? Is your baby otherwise healthy? If there’s not much money at stake then you would be suing to change hospital policy. And who will pay the attorney fees?

Further exploration requires a consult with a Taiwan personal injury attorney.

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I would be upset if I had to witness that. The problem I see with a lawsuit is this: if you live in Taiwan and it happened in Taiwan, you would have to sue in the Taiwan courts.

If the care you witnessed is the “standard of care” in Taiwan, meaning all Taiwanese doctors do it that way, then you can’t prove that the medical care was negligent. The hospital will assert that they meet the expected standard in Taiwan. You would be trying to apply foreign legal standards to Taiwanese medical care.

On the other hand, if this type of conduct is rare and there are Taiwan hospitals with a much better standard of care, with written policies (or expert witnesses who can testify as such), then maybe your suit would have merit.

Then the next question is: what are the damages? Is your baby otherwise healthy? If there’s not much money at stake then you would be suing to change hospital policy. And who will pay the attorney fees?

Further exploration requires a consult with a Taiwan personal injury attorney.

Everything you said is true. I have considered all of these things. I know how hard would it be as a foreigner to sue a hospital / locals , especially when this is considered normal practice (at least in Taiwan).

I know I could just forget about it and let it go. After all, I know from research & speaking to a bone specialist that the baby will recover from the fracture in about a month. There is a bit of a gamble on nerve damage (which could cause disability i.e. she may not be able to use her arm normally). But I won’t know about the nerve damage until after 1 month, and possibly after 2 years, when the doctor said he can do a thorough test whether the baby can move everything normally.

So in terms of damages, financially there is nothing. I am perfectly able to take care of the baby, and I have zero interest in getting money from the hospital. Right now I am 80% sure they were negligent, but if I can more sure about this (especially after talking to a legal/medical professional) then I would go to sue them.

It’s going to be very stupid, because it would take a lot time, money and energy. This is time I could give to my daughter. Also, I know there would be a slim chance of winning, given how things work in Taiwan.

But if I really become sure that they did “unnecessary” harm to the baby, then I at least want to inconvenience them, at the very least. I want them to have at least a little bit of headache from this, even if they would eventually win.

What all this would achieve ? Probably nothing.

But I can sleep better, and especially when I look at my daughter, I can feel proud that I stood up to people who hurt her and didn’t let them get away with it, just because they were bigger/stronger or because I had a zero chance of winning against them.

Shoulder dystocia are commonly seen in vaginal delivery when mother has a petite frame and small pelvic rim. During difficult labor doctor would break the clavicle to decrease the shoulder width and pull the baby out to prevent suffocation and aspiration of meconium fluid.

As long as the APGAR score is above 7 (1-10) there shouldn’t be any permanent or irreversible damage to the infant.

wish her a speedy recover. So sorry to hear about your experience.

I agree, it’s a common injury. Also hopefully she will recover soon and there will be not nerve damage (though there is a risk due to the way it’s broken - because the nerves are right below the clavicle - according to the Orthopedic doctor).

I can understand sometimes we can be unlucky and become part of the bad statistic, but this seems like a cause where we don’t qualify as per the typical criteria.

From research I found three main causes for this common injury :

  1. Overweight baby
  2. Narrow birth canal
  3. Use of birthing tools (specially forceps and suction device increases the rate of this injury by several %)

The number 1 doesn’t apply to us, as our baby was underweight. Number 2 is the only reason why I am on the fence, because I need to confirm this. My wife doesn’t have petite frame. It was never indicated to us (at any time) that there might be difficulty in birth due to her small pelvic rim etc… Otherwise we would considered other options. That’s leaves the third option which is improper use of tools, which was very obvious as I saw it with my own eyes (in fact I may have it on video - which I will review later today again).

Thank you for the kind messages. I too hope she recovers quickly. You can see the image here and you can imagine what parents would go through after seeing this (and especially not being told by the doctor) and not knowing what caused this. My wife has been inconsolable since she saw this. She feels guilty. I am not letting her know about my suspicions. I just try to comfort her. That’s why I am here, to let it all out. I can’t even talk to my wife about this, about my anger.

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I’m sorry for your experience. I also had a shitty experience at the clinic where my daughter was born. The delivering nurse had a hacking cough… which we later discovered was pneumonia… and spread it to my daughter and half a dozen other newborns. My daughter needed to be quarantined in NICU at 4 days old, and we could only visit her for 10 minutes a day dressed in hospital scrubs. What should’ve been the happiest time of my life was a nightmare because they let a sick nurse with a fever help to deliver babies. Of course the clinic denied it and claimed the virus was brought from outside, but we and other parents knew the truth. Thankfully my daughter made a full recovery, but it really traumatized me and my wife. We almost lost our only child due to their damn incompetence. We considered suing, but figured the slim chance of winning (as a foreigner against a huge clinic) was not worth the emotional and financial considerations, especially since she was fully recovered. It’s made us shy to have a second one here to be honest.

Sorry, just wanted to share my story too, and also extend along my best wishes for you and your family during this trying time.

OMG, I am so sorry to hear this. I can’t imagine how difficult this must have been for you. I am so glad she recovered. This is what I am talking about. How could they be so incompetent! I know you must have felt a lot of anger too, especially knowing that they got away with it. I can honestly tell you that since finding out about the fracture, my wife and I have decided never to go to local hospital again (if we have a 2nd child). To do it in a private clinic (not sure about that now) or even consider doing it in another country, if possible.

Thank you for your message and kind wishes. I am still looking at all the options on the table. Like in your case I also know it would further add to our stress and woes, but maybe I just need to talk to someone to calm down. I am under a lot of stress knowing someone hurt my child and I know who it is and I am doing nothing. I feel helpless. I want to be a good dad and to always protect her from harm, and fight those who harm her.

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Childbirth is inherently dangerous. I’ve read the main factor is the size of our heads, needed to hold our big brains, even though we have to give birth relatively very early compared to other mammals, as can be seen by the helpless state of our infants for a long period after birth. Most mammals have relatively easy childbirth by comparison.

I agree, I have thought about that a lot. e.g. I should be glad she doesn’t have major injury or that she is alive even. Or that she didn’t suffocate or have brain injury for staying too long in labor etc etc… I totally understand your point. Logically, when I look at the overall outcome I want to be happy (and I am), but at the same time I have bouts of anger , every time I see her unable to move to her arm.

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First of all I’m sorry to hear about what happened to your baby.
My baby was born few months ago too.
The doctor told us that the baby is not “low” enough so she gave us two options.
Vacuum extraction or C-section, she also explained to us the risks of each method.
The vacuum extraction could change the shape of the baby’s head and the C-section could damage the womb of my wife.
So we choosed vacuum extraction but thankfully my wife was able to deliver our baby without using the vacuum.
I saw them pressing my wife’s belly down too like you mentioned, I was also terrified when I saw it.
Thankfully my baby is healthy.
I think they should let you know first if they’re going to use the vacuum and explain to you the risks.
Sorry I can’t give you advice about legal matters, maybe others can give their opinion.
Hoping for your baby’s fast recovery.

Thank you for sharing, and congratulations on your baby as well. I am glad to know everything went well and that the baby is healthy. I agree, I wish they had told us about the C option if they suspected the birth canal was too narrow. Also didn’t know they would use vacuum extraction (that’s the right word, I have been calling it suction device :expressionless:).

This is our first baby and also first time for me to attend a childbirth. I guess my expectation was really skewed. I have only seen how things are in movies and even some actual births (on youtube - typically from the US). So I was a little surprised at how quickly they did things (just a matter of minutes), and especially the pressing on the belly was really shocking because I had never seen it before (despite watching a fair amount of child birth videos with my wife on youtube).

Anyways, thank you for your kind wishes.

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Yes, I keep thinking about this too. The problem is only lack of information / explanation. Had they told us something could go wrong , or even explained afterwards (even a few days later) what happened, and why it happened, our response to this whole thing would have been totally different.

I just don’t know if they saved my baby or harmed it (unnecessarily). If they did in fact save her (by getting it out asap) then I should be thanking them instead of trying to sue them. But I just don’t have enough information because they never talked to us after the birth.

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Yes, she was on drugs. Perhaps that was a factor. I need to research this further. I will talk to a lawyer first to get their input. I will share what they tell me.

Hospitals in Taiwan are encouraging most mothers to go through with vaginal delivery in order to follow hospital accreditation standards. Vaginal delivery when done right decreases length of hospital stay, save costs, decrease future incidence of bowel adhesion…

OGYN doctor must have asked you about your consent to choose and discussed options during the prenatal visits. Nowadays Hospitals and doctors are covered by medical liability insurance . The new law limits each labor accident to 2.5 million NT per case and must go through a 3rd party arbitration prior to lawsuit. You have the right to file a complaint with the hospital administrator , local health department , or ask a lawyer to review your case. My experience as a practicing physician in Taiwan for the past 10 years shows me that healthcare is practiced in an insurance protocol driven method where doctors follow strict rules set out by national health insurance. As long as doctor didn’t show malice or incompetency proven on medical charting, lawyers won’t take on a case without evidence of wrongdoing. Consent signed, bad out come, percentage play usually isn’t big money in lawyers eyes. Lawyers are all for profit and prefer big cases with hard evidence.

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No they most certainly are not. They push for c-sections all the time. Every couple I know who has had a child delivered in a hospital here has confirmed this.
You really need to insist you are absolutely against it and against the doctor assisted pushing on the womb method. They do both to hurry up the delivery.

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That shoulder is going to heal up quickly. It happens. Babies are resilient. My friend’s kid popped a hole in his lung on his first breath. It happens. If the wife is healthy and other than the shoulder so is the child, count your blessings.

We also had a very traumatizing birth in Taichung in 1999. I loathed the Dr. and called him out on his lies about how often he had checked in on our son in the NICU. The birth, while not as bad as what you all went through, was bad enough for us to choose to stop at one child. No way would I ask my wife to go through that process again.

I don’t mean to suggest that you shrug it off, but what’s done is done. You can go down this road and just get more upset and frustrated, or you can take your miracle home and love her. It sucks not being allowed to punch the doctor in the head though.

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My wife wasn’t offered a C-section. She also turned down an epidural because it cost more and she wanted to experience the pain.

She worries me at times.

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