Childbirth is often a challenging experience, with medical professionals playing a crucial role in ensuring the safety of both mother and child. However, complications can arise, including shoulder dystocia.
Shoulder dystocia is a birth complication that occurs when a baby’s head passes through the mother’s pelvis but the shoulders become stuck behind the pubic bone. This situation can be challenging and, if not managed promptly and appropriately, may lead to severe complications for both the newborn and the mother.
Common risk factors and causes
Several risk factors contribute to shoulder dystocia, including:
- Fetal macrosomia: Large birth weight, often associated with gestational diabetes, increases the risk of shoulder dystocia.
- Maternal diabetes: Mothers with diabetes, particularly gestational diabetes, may be at a higher risk.
- Prolonged labor: An extended duration of labor may increase the likelihood of shoulder dystocia.
- Maternal pelvic structure: Abnormalities in the shape or size of the mother’s pelvis may contribute.
- Previous shoulder dystocia: If a woman has experienced shoulder dystocia in a previous delivery, the risk is elevated in subsequent pregnancies.
Consequences of shoulder dystocia
Shoulder dystocia can lead to various complications, including:
- Brachial plexus injuries: Stretching or tearing of the nerves around the shoulder may result in conditions like Erb’s palsy.
- Fractures: The baby may experience bone fractures or other injuries during attempts to dislodge the shoulders.
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): Oxygen deprivation during shoulder dystocia can lead to brain injuries and HIE.
- Maternal injuries: The mother may suffer from tears, bleeding or other injuries during the delivery process.
Filing a medical malpractice claim
When shoulder dystocia occurs and leads to harm, families may consider pursuing compensation for the resulting damages, including:
- Accountability: If healthcare providers fail to follow established standards of care in managing shoulder dystocia, resulting in injuries, a personal injury claim can hold them accountable for medical negligence.
- Compensation for medical expenses: Families may seek compensation for medical bills related to the treatment of birth injuries, rehabilitation and ongoing medical care.
- Recovery for emotional distress: Both parents and the child may experience emotional distress due to the impact of shoulder dystocia. Personal injury claims can provide compensation for the emotional toll.
- Future costs and losses: Compensation can address future medical expenses, therapies and any loss of earning capacity resulting from the birth injury.
- Improved standards of care: Personal injury claims shed light on shortcomings in medical care, encouraging healthcare providers and institutions to implement better protocols and practices.
If medical negligence led to your child’s shoulder dystocia injuries, call the Law Offices of Tim Misny today.
Discuss your case with an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer
The Law Offices of Tim Misny can review your shoulder dystocia claim. When you’re the victim of negligence or recklessness, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at (800) 556-4769 so that I can evaluate your case right away.