Shoulder dystocia, a worrying birth injury

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2020 | Birth Injuries |

Sometimes, though not frequently, a baby born in Ohio may suffer a birth injury called shoulder dystocia. In cases of shoulder dystocia, babies get one or both of their shoulders stuck in their mother’s pelvis. As a result, the pressure of the mother’s body hurts the baby as well as the mother.

The baby may, for example, incur some nerve damage in the arm or even break it. The baby may be deprived of oxygen for a dangerous amount of time. As for the mother, she may suffer tearing, bruising or hemorrhaging. Most times, the injuries heal quickly; the baby may have limited movement in the affected arm and shoulder for several months. In severe cases, there may be permanent damage, and surgery may be required.

Certain factors raise the risk for shoulder dystocia, such as macrosomia, where the baby is unusually large; mothers with a small pelvis; multiple births; and mothers who are obese or have diabetes. Despite these factors, doctors cannot normally predict it. Mothers who know they are at risk may want to discuss having a C-section with their doctor.

Doctors may contribute to the injury, though, such as through the improper use of forceps and vacuums. They may make matters worse if their training has been so inadequate that they don’t know what shoulder dystocia is.

When birth injuries are the result of negligence, then parents may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the hospital. For more details, they may want to consult a lawyer. In fact, it may be a good idea to hire a lawyer for assistance with every step since proving negligence can require medical knowledge and negotiating for a settlement can require perseverance. With legal help, parents may be compensated for medical bills and other losses.


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