Birth Injuries: Shoulder Dystocia

baby_shoulderVaginal childbirth is never easy, but factors such as maternal obesity or diabetes; a small or abnormal maternal pelvis; an exceptionally large baby; or a late labor and delivery can complicate the process considerably.

Each of these factors might increase an infant's risk of shoulder dystocia birth injuries, which occur when a baby's shoulders become lodged behind the mother's pelvic bone during labor and delivery.

Being stuck behind the pelvic bone—as well as dislodging the baby to deliver it fully—can cause serious birth injuries, such as:

  • Nerve damage
  • Paralysis
  • Fractured arms or collarbone
  • Erb's palsy, which causes numbness or paralysis of the arm
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Brain damage or death caused by oxygen deprivation

Shoulder dystocia can also cause maternal medical complications, such as severe vaginal, cervix, or rectum lacerations, bladder bruising, uterine rupture, or hemorrhaging.

Fortunately, shoulder dystocia is often preventable, as many of the risk factors for the condition—such as maternal diabetes, a small maternal pelvis, or a massive baby—can be addressed during prenatal care. Early detection allows a doctor to schedule a cesarean section procedure, if necessary.

However, if the doctor fails to note relevant risk factors and substantially deviates from the accepted standard of care during prenatal care or in the delivery room, they may be liable for damages if birth injuries occur as a result.

Depending on the severity of the shoulder dystocia injury and its estimated long-term effects, shoulder dystocia birth injury victims may be entitled to a wide range of damages that include compensation for:

  • All related medical expenses
  • Loss of capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability

Consult a Knowledgeable Birth Injuries Attorney

Finding out your child sustained an injury during the birthing process is every parent's worst nightmare. Learning the injury was caused by a medical professional's negligence can be even more difficult.

Let the experienced birth injury attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group fight for your rights and guide you through every step of the legal process. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial review of your birth injuries case.

 

Pellegrino Certa
Pittsburgh Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorney
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