Shoulder Dystocia Birth Injury Lawyer
A common hindrance during childbirth is ensuring the baby’s shoulders can maneuver around the mother’s pelvis during delivery. Sometimes, the child’s head passes into the birth canal, but the shoulders are caught behind the pelvis. This is called shoulder dystocia and occurs due to a larger baby, small pelvis or other factors. While it is a serious problem, there are well-known techniques in place to free the child’s shoulder. If this is not possible, the child may need to be delivered through cesarean section. What should not occur is a shoulder dystocia injury, caused by poor medical management of this condition.
When shoulder dystocia occurs, the medical team needs to act quickly and appropriately to protect the health of the mother and baby. Repositioning the child and mother and other techniques should be used to resolve the issue. If too much pressure is used or the delivery takes too long, there are risks for damage to the child’s neck, shoulder, head and brain. Shoulder dystocia is a delivery emergency, but one that should be handled without injury if the correct protocols are used by the medical team.
Causes of Shoulder Dystocia Birth Injuries
When a baby becomes lodged due to shoulder dystocia, how the medical team reacts is crucial in preventing injury. If too much pressure or force is used to dislodge the child, it can damage the brachial plexus nerves in the shoulder. This can lead to Erb’s or Klumpke’s palsy that can cause permanent damage to the affected shoulder, arm and hand. In severe cases, delays in delivery cause hypoxia or lack of oxygen to the brain, resulting in brain damage or cerebral palsy.
To prevent birth injuries from shoulder dystocia, medical teams should be identifying this possible condition early. The size and position of the child can indicate that shoulder dystocia could occur. Also, using proper techniques to avoid excess force is standard. When mistakes are made, the child is the one who pays the price with possible injuries.
If you have a child that was injured due to poor handling of shoulder dystocia during delivery, you may be able to seek compensation for the injury in a medical malpractice claim. Contact Race Law Firm in Atlanta to discuss your legal options.