Pursuing Compensation For Shoulder Dystocia Injuries

Shoulder dystocia is a relatively rare condition during childbirth where either one or both of the child's shoulders becomes lodged in the birth canal or on the mother's pelvic bone after the delivery of the head. As a result of the shoulder getting "stuck", the baby cannot be delivered.

While this injury is rare nationwide and in Atlanta, shoulder dystocia is one of the most significant and dangerous complications of childbirth that can place the life of an unborn child at extreme risk. If proper obstetrical care is not provided immediately, shoulder dystocia could cause:

  • Death
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Erb's palsy
  • Permanent brachial plexus injury

Preventing Injuries From Shoulder Dystocia

The birth injuries caused by shoulder dystocia can be prevented when the labor and delivery team are fully prepared and ready to deal with the problem. Through the use of various maneuvers like McRoberts, Woods' screw, and the application of suprapubic pressure, children can often be delivered without long-term complications even in the face of shoulder dystocia.

Unfortunately, many physicians, nurses and midwives, even those in Georgia, are not prepared to provide the care that can make all the difference to the child's life. Additionally, Georgia hospitals are often not willing to invest the time and energy to have their staffs run shoulder dystocia drills that could make all the difference. As a result, children are born with preventable injuries that can haunt them for the rest of their lives — something you can fight through a medical malpractice claim.

Predicting Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia can never be predicted with certainty; however, there are risk factors that place a child at greater risk. These risk factors include, among other things, gestational diabetes, large weight gain during pregnancy, obesity of the mother, late delivery, a previous pregnancy with a large baby, and a previous pregnancy with a shoulder dystocia. Ultrasound results indicating a large baby also can alert medical personnel to a potential shoulder dystocia.

When the risk factors are present, a patient's medical provider should be discussing the possibility of shoulder dystocia with the patient and should be ready to immediately take the appropriate medical steps if shoulder dystocia does occur. In truth, the medical providers often either miss or ignore the signs of a potential problem and as a result are not ready when shoulder dystocia happens.

Georgia Shoulder Dystocia Lawyers

If you or someone you love has been wrongfully injured due to shoulder dystocia, call us today for a free consultation. Our team in the Atlanta office of Houck | Reynolds, LLC has the experience and skill necessary to investigate why a shoulder dystocia occurred and whether the child's injuries could and should have been avoided. Contact our law office online today, or call 770-392-6080 to speak to one of our knowledgeable attorneys.