Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia happens when a baby gets stuck in the birth canal. If the baby’s shoulder is stuck on the mother’s pelvis during delivery, that’s known as shoulder dystocia. This complication can happen during delivery, and all labor and delivery doctors should know how to appropriately respond to shoulder dystocia safely and competently. If shoulder dystocia occurs as a result of medical negligence, or if a doctor does not appropriately respond to the complication, the baby’s life is put in danger. In addition to potentially threatening the safety and wellbeing of both mother and baby, a preventable birth injury can leave babies with lifelong health consequences. If your child has suffered from a birth injury related to shoulder dystocia, you need to contact a personal injury attorney with proven birth injury case experience as soon as possible.

Risk Factors for Shoulder Dystocia

While there are many different risk factors associated with shoulder dystocia, the complication can arise in just about any case. Women who have abnormally small pelvises or who are carrying late-term babies are at a higher risk. Maternal obesity and gestational diabetes can also increase the risk for shoulder dystocia. In addition to other various risk factors are an unusually long or difficult labor. No matter what the risk factors associated are, doctors need to be ready to respond to this complication safely and swiftly. All medical guidelines for handling shoulder dystocia should be followed to the letter. If doctors don’t provide safe and medically accepted interventions to complications of delivery, the lives of mothers and babies are put at risk.

Complications Associated with Shoulder Dystocia

A variety of complications are associated with a baby who suffers from shoulder dystocia. Depending upon how long the baby is stuck, and how long he or she goes without appropriate medical intervention, you could be looking at oxygen deficiency, which could lead to permanent brain damage. Additionally, it’s possible for babies to suffer from nerve damage that can be mild, moderate or severe where there is full paralysis of a limb. Brachial plexus palsy, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, Klumpke’s palsy and severe neurological damage are all potential complications of shoulder dystocia. It’s also dangerous for the mother and can lead to post-delivery hemorrhage, and possibly death to mother, baby or both. Listed below are some potential complications of shoulder dystocia.

Potential Complications of Shoulder Dystocia

  • Oxygen deficiency
  • Temporary nerve damage
  • Permanent neurological damage
  • Paralysis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brachial plexus
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Klumpke’s Palsy
  • Post delivery hemorrhage
  • Death

Responding Swiftly and Competently in The Delivery Room

Most importantly, we expect our doctors and medical teams to respond swiftly and competently in the delivery room. We know that complications can arise during childbirth. All necessary risk factors and precautions should always be taken into account to prevent or prepare for possible complications. When complications arise, such as shoulder dystocia, doctors need to be prepared to give appropriate intervention. Whether that intervention is by utilizing one of the many recognized procedures or maneuvers approved by and used competently by doctors everyday or if a certain medical device is used, doctors and medical teams need to be fully trained, educated and experienced in the safety and efficacy of those methods and devices.

Medical Expenses Associated With Shoulder Dystocia

Initial medical expenses associated with shoulder dystocia are just the tip of the iceberg. Depending upon the severity of the birth injury, you child could need additional medical or surgical procedures, physical therapy, medical devices and countless appointments in the following weeks and months. For some children, irreversible nerve damage can mean a lifetime of challenges related to their birth injury. No family should have to worry about paying for medical bills caused by negligence, errors or malpractice in the delivery room.

Jackson Shoulder Dystocia Lawyer

Preventable medical errors in the delivery room can leave babies and their families with lifelong consequences. Expenses for the first year alone can be exorbitant. Since cases involving medical negligence and malpractice can be lengthy and complex, it’s important to have a personal injury lawyer on your side with proven birth injury case experience. A personal injury attorney can be your advocate and help to ensure you get the compensation you deserve to cover necessary medical expenses for your baby.

If your child suffered from a birth injury related to shoulder dystocia in a hospital in the Jackson Metro Area or in any of the surrounding communities, contact the experienced birth injury case team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for a free case consultation today.


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