Shoulder dystocia is a complication that occurs during delivery, when a baby’s shoulder becomes lodged or stuck behind one of the mother’s pelvic bones. The complication occurs in about 1 percent of all deliveries but is very serious when it does occur.
At Sasscer, Clagett & Bucher, our Upper Marlboro birth injury lawyers have successfully handled dozens of shoulder dystocia cases. We also have significant experience with other types of birth injury cases, including delivery errors resulting in Erb’s palsy and brachial plexus injuries.
Do I have a case?
Examine medical records for evidence of medical malpractice
If your child suffered brain damage, nerve damage, other injuries, or died as a result of a shoulder dystocia, the medical records must be carefully examined by experienced persons for evidence of medical malpractice. If the obstetrical doctor or delivery team failed to take certain specific and recognized actions to minimize the risks associated with shoulder dystocia, you may have a claim for medical malpractice. Compensation via a medical negligence claim can provide a measure of financial stability during the aftermath of a shocking or tragic event as your family gets used to a different reality.
Evidence of medical malpractice
Certain conditions carry an increased high risk of shoulder dystocia. If identified before labor begins, the obstetrical doctor should inform the mother of the risks and discuss the pros and cons of a cesarean section delivery. This is often a good option for safe delivery.
If shoulder dystocia develops during delivery, there are several maneuvers the delivery team can and should use to attempt to resolve the impaction of the shoulder.
If the doctor or midwife fails to perform these maneuvers or fails to suggest c-section delivery, and serious injury to the baby and/or mother results, there may be a valid claim for medical malpractice.