Childbirth Injury – Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder Dystocia is a medical emergency that your doctor or midwife must manage by following the proper sequence of obstetrical maneuvers. It occurs when the baby’s head is delivered but the shoulders get stuck inside the mother’s body.

Serious injury or death can be the result if proper steps and proper sequencing are not observed. Failure to properly manage this medical emergency can result in damage to the brachial plexus nerves and lead to the following permanent injuries:

  • Klumpke Paralysis (or Klumpke Palsy) – your baby may have a “claw hand” due to the paralysis of the muscles of the forearm and hand.
  • Erb’s Palsy – paralysis of the arm which may lead to stunted growth and cause that arm to be smaller than your baby’s other arm. Your baby may not be able to move the effected arm and surgery may be necessary in order to regain use of that arm.
  • Fetal Hypoxia – Your baby does not get enough oxygen during delivery. This can lead to cerebral palsy or death

Your doctor or midwife should have been trained in managing this medical emergency. If you suspect they were not properly trained or failed to follow their training and your baby was injured or dies, call me to discuss your legal options.

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