Childbirth has some inherent risks, as does every medical procedure. However, we expect our medical professionals to take every precaution and measure necessary to protect the health of both the child and mother. When a doctor makes a mistake, serious birth injuries could occur. One complication doctors should be prepared for is shoulder dystocia.
The Law Offices of Randolph Rice has a dedicated staff of attorneys who are committed to holding doctors and other medical professionals accountable for their costly errors. If your child experienced a birth injury due to your doctor’s negligence, contact our Maryland attorney for infant shoulder dystocia immediately. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.
What is Shoulder Dystocia?
Shoulder dystocia is a complication that could arise during childbirth. In some instances, the mother’s pelvic bone obstructs the infant’s shoulders from passing through the birth canal, potentially resulting in birth injuries. The child’s position often damages the brachial plexus nerves, which could seriously affect the health of the child. Another common complication of shoulder dystocia suffered by Maryland infants is the compression of the umbilical cord when the child is suspended in the birth canal. Without immediate medical attention, a compressed umbilical cord could lead to permeant brain damage. When shoulder dystocia is present, the obstetrician must take appropriate measures to protect the health of the child.
Health Complications of Shoulder Dystocia Birth Injuries in Maryland Infants
It is possible for an experienced and skilled obstetrician to carefully maneuver a baby through the birth canal or perform a cesarean section if required. However, as seen above, this is not always the case. The treating doctor sometimes acts negligently, injuring the infant. Complications from shoulder dystocia could include injuries such as a broken bone or a more life-altering complication, such as permanent paralysis.
Shoulder dystocia could result in a brachial plexus injury or damage to the complex of nerves running from the infant’s shoulder area to their spinal cord. This damage could cause Erb’s palsy, weakness, or paralysis of the entire arm. Additionally, it could result in Klumpke’s palsy, where the lower arm and hand are affected. In other cases, the child could suffer cerebral palsy, which results in various symptoms such as poor coordination, weak muscles, sensory problems, and intellectual disorders or difficulties.
When the umbilical cord becomes compressed and untreated, the loss of oxygen could cause brain damage or death. If your child has experienced any of these complications due to the negligent conduct of your obstetrician, the medical team, or the facility, contact our Maryland malpractice attorney to review your legal options.
Risks Factors of Infant Shoulder Dystocia that Maryland Doctors Should Know to Look For
Shoulder dystocia is typically a foreseeable complication and should not result in severe birth injuries if your treating doctor and the medical team are attentively monitoring your pregnancy, especially if one or more of the potential risk factors are present.
If your child is unusually large, then the chances of experiencing shoulder dystocia during delivery are increased. Your doctor should be aware of the growth of your fetus and carefully watch its size to determine if a vaginal delivery will be difficult. Additionally, if there are multiple children, twins, or triplets, there is an elevated risk that one of the infants will experience shoulder dystocia. In many cases, scheduling a cesarean section is a safer alternative than vaginal birth.
In cases where a mother has previously given birth to a child who suffered through shoulder dystocia, her obstetrician should be especially mindful that it could occur again. When labor is prolonged, the doctor should be prepared for a difficult delivery and take precautions to treat shoulder dystocia.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for Infant Shoulder Dystocia in Maryland
There are a number of actions and decisions surrounding shoulder dystocia that could constitute medical malpractice. When a doctor decides to use surgical instruments, such as forceps or a vacuum extractor, to pull the child through the birth canal forcibly, it could create undue pressure and stress on the child’s neck and shoulder, causing a brachial plexus injury. This type of injury should be preventable if a physician had properly monitored the baby’s position. In cases where a child’s path is obstructed by their shoulders and their mother’s pelvic bone, a c-section is the safest alternative for both the baby and the mother.
Damages Resulting from Infant Shoulder Dystocia in Maryland
Often, the complications from an infant shoulder dystocia injury require years of medical intervention and physical therapy. These costly expenses should not be your burden. You are entitled to seek the appropriate compensation through a medical malpractice claim to provide for your child. Some common expenses associated with shoulder dystocia injuries include reparative surgery, physical and occupational therapy, psychological counseling, special education, or home medical care. Depending on the prognosis, your child could be facing a lifetime of emotional and economic difficulties. The attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph Rice are committed to thoroughly investigating your case to ensure the compensation requested through a lawsuit is adequate to care for all your needs.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Infant Shoulder Dystocia for a Free Consultation
Many birth injuries are foreseeable and preventable. When a delivery presents complications, the attending obstetrician must take the proper measures and make the right decisions to ensure the health and safety of the baby. When their actions cause harm, the doctor should be held liable for any damages that arise. If your child suffered a birth injury due to a medical error, contact our Maryland attorney for infant shoulder dystocia today. Call the Maryland birth injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.