Shoulder Dystocia and Medical Malpractice
Shoulder dystocia refers to a birth where the shoulder of the baby is caught on the mother’s pubic bone, creating a situation where the baby cannot be delivered without special maneuvers to free the baby and allow delivery. When an obstetrician fails to make the proper maneuvers and take other steps to prevent injury, the obstetrician can be held liable for the damages associated with these injuries, which can be severe. Damages can include medical expenses, cost of care, loss of earning, disfigurement, pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Complications of Shoulder Dystocia
- Erb’s palsy – The most common serious complication of a shoulder dystocia delivery is damage to the brachial plexus nerves. The brachial plexus are a group of nerve fibers extending bilaterally from the spinal cord to the shoulder area and through the upper extremities. Injury to the upper part of the brachial plexus is called Erb’s palsy. A child with Erbs palsy may exhibit any of the following symptoms: loss of muscle control, limpness and low muscle tone in the arm muscles, decreased sensation, and partial or complete paralysis.
- Fracture of the clavicle – A clavicle fracture is usually referred to as a broken collar bone.
- Fracture of the humerus – A humerus fracture is a broken upper arm bone.
- Hypoxia – When there is a reduction of the amount of oxygen in the infant’s body, it is called hypoxia. Infants who are deprived of adequate oxygen can suffer brain damage or die. Severe hypoxia will cause permanent brain damage.
Do You Have a Shoulder Dystocia Lawsuit?
If you had a difficult vaginal delivery and your child was injured, you may have a claim against the obstetrician, the hospital and others. The Fitzgerald Law Firm has handled hundreds of birth injury lawsuits and obtained numerous multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements for children. If your child has been diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy or any other birth injury, he or she deserves representation by experienced, successful lawyers. For a free consultation, call toll-free at 1-800-323-9900 or submit the firm’s online contact form.