Birth Injury Malpractice Attorney Serving Families Across Kentucky
Shoulder dystocia is not always preventable – and there are instances where it can occur and there was no way for the physician to predict it. But, there are also plenty of instances where shoulder dystocia cases happen that cause irreversible harm to the mother and baby – and are preventable. Shoulder dystocia occurs when a baby’s head is delivered vaginally, but the shoulders become wedged in the mother’s pelvis. This creates a risk for both mother and baby.
Is Shoulder Dystocia Malpractice?
Not all instances of shoulder dystocia are medical malpractice. In fact, most cases cannot be predicted, and most physicians only discover the issue during labor. If, however, your baby is much larger or you have had past deliveries with shoulder dystocia, then your physician should take precaution and schedule a C-section delivery instead of attempting to deliver the baby vaginally. Failing to take precautions could be considered falling below the standard of care.
Some women are also more likely to have a delivery with a shoulder dystocia event than others. In these instances, the physician should take steps to prevent dystocia from occurring. Risk factors for dystocia include:
- A large baby – though even average weight babies can experience dystocia.
- A pregnant woman with diabetes.
- A woman giving birth past the due date.
- A woman who is pregnant with more than one child.
- A labor that is induced.
- A woman who has had a previous dystocia case.
- A woman who has had a vaginal operative birth, such as the use of forceps.
- A tilted or small pelvis.
Common Injuries and Complications Seen with Shoulder Dystocia
In some cases of shoulder dystocia, both mother and baby could suffer from serious injuries. Some of these injuries can carry lifelong consequences, while others are just temporary. Some common injuries and complications that occur with shoulder dystocia cases include:
- Injury to the baby’s nerves of the shoulders, arms and hands. This can lead to permanent paralysis or uncontrollable shaking. Sometimes, this issue can resolve itself in six to 12 months – while at other times, it affects the baby for the rest of his or her life.
- Lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain.
- Permanent brain damage or death for the baby.
- Heavy bleeding and oxygen deprivation for the mother.
- Tearing of the uterus, cervix, rectum, or vagina for the mother.
Did You or Your Baby Suffer Serious Injuries from Shoulder Dystocia?
There is nothing more tragic than injuries that occur during birth. This should be the happiest time in a mother’s life – and she should not remember the moment her child was born as anything other than positive. If you suffered serious injuries or your baby was born with an injury due to a preventable shoulder dystocia case, you may be entitled to compensation. Assess your options by contacting a medical malpractice attorney today at Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC. Schedule a free consultation now at 502-791-9000 or fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.