Shoulder dystocia is a serious obstetrical complication that usually results in lifelong injuries. It occurs during delivery when the baby’s shoulders become stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone. The baby is unable to move forward without immediate assistance from doctors and nurses. Without help, he baby can suffer brain damage or even death.
SHOULDER DYSTOCIA RISK FACTORS
There are multiple factors that raise the risk for shoulder dystocia, including:
- Diabetes in mother
- Obesity in mother
- Baby is more than 41 weeks old at delivery
- Mother has small pelvis
- Shortness in mother
- Baby has higher than normal birth weight
- Mother has previously delivered large baby or experienced shoulder dystocia during previous deliveries
Not all of these risk factors will result in shoulder dystocia, and this complication may also occur in deliveries without any of the risk factors. However, obstetricians are specifically trained to look for these potential red flags, so they can anticipate and be prepared when it does occur. When shoulder dystocia happens without any of the warning signs, the doctor must be ready to immediately react to help safely deliver the baby.
PREVENTING BRACHIAL PLESUX & SHOULDER INJURIES
Experienced obstetricians will call upon other medical staff to assist, including a second obstetrician, additional nurses, a pediatrician, and an anesthesiologist. There are very specific procedures that doctors should follow in these cases, including emergency caesarean sections – and both time and skill are of the essence.
While Birth Injuries may happen despite the best medical care, many shoulder dystocia can be anticipated and prevented. If the obstetrician does not pay attention to the known risk factors, or fails to take appropriate action once shoulder dystocia has manifested, the doctor may have committed malpractice. Where Medical Malpractice causes a birth injury, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the harm caused.
If your baby suffered a shoulder injury at birth, please contact our office and speak with a member of the firm. The applicable statute of limitations is likely already running, so timing can be critically important to your case. Contact us today for a free, no obligation, confidential legal consultation.
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Raynes Erickson, Attorneys at Law focuses its practice on the legal representation of clients who are victims of medical malpractice, catastrophic injury, or wrongful death. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and how our litigation team can help you receive the compensation you deserve.