Personal Injury Lawyer
As a leading birth injury lawyer, we have handled a broad range of birth injury cases, including shoulder dystocia and Erb’s Palsy. If your child suffered one of these issues, and you believe it occurred because of an error made by a nurse, doctor, or other medical professional, please call [law firm name].
What is Shoulder Dystocia?
The word dystocia refers to a birth or delivery that is difficult. In the case of shoulder dystocia, the baby’s shoulder, or shoulders, can become lodged or stuck in the birth canal or on the pubic bones of the mother. This can result in the baby becoming stuck. As soon as the shoulder dystocia is realized, medical doctors must address the issue as quickly as possible. Failure to do so could result in a lack of oxygen, and possible brain damage. Additional injuries may include nerve injuries, dislocated shoulders, a brachial plexus injury, or Erb’s Palsy.
If your baby had shoulder dystocia, and the condition was not diagnosed or addressed properly, you should not delay in consulting a birth injury lawyer right away. If you have a case, we will investigate important questions, such as:
- What happened?
- Was the condition identified?
- Was the dystocia treated properly?
- Who was responsible?
For years we have been committed to identify all forms of medical malpractice, including birth injuries. Our team of lawyers understand medical terminology, as well as a broad range of laws, regulations, and procedures.
Risks of Shoulder Dystocia
In general, there are warning signs that indicate the possibility of developing shoulder dystocia. If the following were applicable in your own pregnancy, and these signs were ignored, do not hesitate in calling a birth injury lawyer.
- Large infant
- Gestational diabetes
- Large amount of weight gain
- The baby is in the breech position
- The baby is overdue
- The mother is small
- The pelvis is small
- The mother has had a previous pregnancy involving dystocia
- A previous pregnancy involved a large baby
If these risks are applicable in a mother’s pregnancy, there should be a plan in place to prepare for shoulder dystocia. In some cases, this could involve scheduling a cesarean surgery.
If the mother is in labor, and the baby is stuck in the birth canal, usually there will be an attempt to widen the birth canal or apply pressure to the abdominal area with the intention of repositioning the baby. Should these methods not work, the doctor may be forced into breaking the collar bone of the baby. If this does not work either, an emergency c-section may be performed.
What Happens When Shoulder Dystocia is Not Diagnosed or Treated in Time
It is possible for shoulder dystocia can cause mild to severe nerve damage to the brachial plexus nerve. Conditions that could result from this may include:
- Erb’s Palsy – The infant may be unable to move their arm from below the elbow, and with their palm facing backwards.
- Klumpke’s Palsy – This often causes paralysis of the fingers and hand.
- Horner’s Syndrome – This is a condition that may cause uneven sizes with the pupils and drooping eyelids.
- Complete Brachial Plexus Injury – A very severe injury that typically results in complete paralysis in the arm.
It may be possible to improve the above conditions, but that will depend on the severity of nerve damage. The sooner it is diagnosed, the faster the child can begin physical therapy. If your child was not diagnosed with shoulder dystocia, and has been injured, call a birth injury lawyer today