Birth Injuries: Potential Shoulder Dystocia Causes and Injuries

BirthWhile shoulder dystocia is rare, it is also a very serious birth injury that occurs when an infant’s shoulder becomes wedged in the pelvic region of the mother while giving birth. Likewise, while most injuries resulting from shoulder dystocia typically heal between six months and a year, there’s always the risk of long-lasting disability, or worse, death.

Birth injury lawyers in Atlanta outline this condition below.

Potential Injuries due to Shoulder Dystocia

When the shoulders of a baby can’t pass through the pelvis of the mother during childbirth, the baby will become stuck in the mother’s birth canal. Consequently, both the mother and baby can sustain injuries due to the stress of forcibly pushing the baby out. These potential injuries can include:

  • Damaged collarbone or arm
  • Asphyxiation
  • Damage to the shoulder, hand, or arm
  • Hemorrhage
  • Brachial Plexus or Erb’s Palsy
  • Paralysis
  • Permanent Disability
  • Death

The mother can likewise sustain a bruised or torn vagina, rectum, or cervix, a bruised bladder, or uterine rupture.

Potential Causes of Shoulder Dystocia

Dystocia actually means “difficult or slow labor or childbirth” and while there may be plenty of factors that can contribute to the risk of dystocia, it is commonly a result of the mother’s pelvic region being too small or the baby being too huge, or a combination of these.

However, shoulder dystocia can likewise be caused by prolonged labor due to negligence or medical malpractice. These errors typically happen during vaginal childbirth assisted by use of a vacuum or forceps, but can likewise be caused by the doctor’s failure to determine or properly address the dystocia. In the event that the performance of the doctor and/or other healthcare professionals related to the delivery didn’t hold up to the generally established care level, they can be sued for medical malpractice.

Birth injuries such as shoulder dystocia are extremely traumatic. Once you’re ready and have explored the treatment plan for your baby’s birth injury, you should then begin exploring your legal options. When you have all the facts reviewed by a birth injury expert, you’ll be able to start building a medical malpractice case against those who’ve wronged your budding family and just focus on taking care of your baby.

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