Shoulder dystocia is a complication that occurs during vaginal delivery. It happens when the baby’s head has been delivered, but the anterior shoulder is now stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone. This makes it difficult for the baby to naturally proceed out of the birthing canal without some help from the obstetrician.
Approximately 20% of babies that have shoulder dystocia at birth will suffer some sort of birth injury. This birth injury can be either temporary or permanent. The most common birth injuries that occur are damage to the brachial plexus nerves, as well as injuries including breaks of clavicles, humerus bones, and other contusions and lacerations. Birth asphyxia is also a birth injury that can occur and can cause permanent neurological disabilities.
Can Shoulder Dystocia Be Avoided?
The best way to prevent these complications is to prevent shoulder dystocia from occurring. This is where the obstetrician comes into play. Although, this can’t always be prevented, a knowledgeable obstetrician may be able to determine, due to the baby’s size, position and other factors, that shoulder dystocia is a possibility. If so, other delivery options may need to be discussed. Being prepared in the case of shoulder dystocia is extremely important. If a baby is injured due to the negligence of the physician, then the physician should be held liable for any injuries that occur.
Birth Injury Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia
As birth injury attorneys in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, we will help families that have been affected by birth injuries. If your child was injured at birth, and you now have questions concerning your legal rights, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. You may call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia for a free consultation.
Let the experienced medical malpractice and birth injury attorneys answer any questions you may have.