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Shoulder dystocia is a complication that occurs during childbirth when a baby’s shoulders become caught behind the mother’s pubic bone after the head has already been delivered through the birth canal. As a general rule, when a baby’s body is not fully delivered within one minute of the baby’s head being delivered, shoulder dystocia is diagnosed.
If your child suffered birth injuries due to shoulder dystocia, you might have a claim for medical malpractice. Personal injury attorneys at Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, represent clients in birth injury cases. We know that shoulder dystocia is not always the result of medical negligence, but the responsible parties should be held accountable when it is.
Shoulder dystocia can result in temporary and permanent injuries, such as bone fractures, nerve damage, and brachial plexus injuries. The longer a baby is stuck in a mother’s birth canal, the more likely it is that the baby will suffer from oxygen deprivation. Oxygen deprivation can result in permanent brain injuries such as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and cerebral palsy.
Shoulder dystocia can also lead to medical complications for the baby’s mother. For example, mothers can experience severe perineum tears due to shoulder dystocia, often requiring one or more surgeries. Shoulder dystocia may also cause more serious complications for mothers, such as uterine rupture and postpartum hemorrhage.
Some factors increase the risk of shoulder dystocia, such as macrosomia (large babies), maternal diabetes, being pregnant with multiple babies, and excessive pregnancy weight gain. Medical professionals should recognize these risks for shoulder dystocia and make appropriate medical decisions accordingly.
As mentioned above, shoulder dystocia is generally diagnosed when a baby’s body is stuck in the birth canal for more than one minute after the baby’s head is delivered. If the diagnosis is not made when it should be made, medical professionals may not make appropriate decisions to help deliver the baby as safely and efficiently as possible.
After a shoulder dystocia diagnosis is made, appropriate medical intervention to deliver the baby is critical. Numerous medical techniques can be used to deliver a baby with shoulder dystocia, depending on the particular circumstances. When doctors fail to treat and intervene in a shoulder dystocia delivery appropriately, the baby and mother may experience injuries that could have been avoided with adequate medical care.
If your child experienced shoulder dystocia and other birth injuries during childbirth and you suspect medical negligence caused or contributed to those injuries, you may have a claim for compensation. Contact a personal injury attorney at the Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, for a free consultation. Call (304) 594-1800 or fill out our convenient online contact form. We will review your case, go over your questions and concerns, and discuss your potential legal remedies.