For Over 30 Years

Aggressive Personal Injury
Legal Representation

blog home Medical Malpractice The Ins and Outs of Shoulder Dystocia

The Ins and Outs of Shoulder Dystocia

By Grant Law Office on February 23, 2020

Shoulder dystocia is a complication of birth. It can cause problems for the mother and serious, permanent injury to the baby. Shoulder dystocia requires immediate medical attention. The longer the delay before the medical team responds effectively, the more serious complications can be.

What Is Shoulder Dystocia?

During birth, after the head is delivered, the baby’s head and body will turn sideways. In most cases, this allows the shoulders to pass under the pubic bone. Once the shoulders have passed through, the rest of the body can be delivered. In some cases, however, the baby’s shoulders cannot get past the public bone. This situation, called shoulder dystocia, is a medical emergency. The child cannot begin breathing until his or her body is born. The longer the delay, the higher the risk of asphyxia (oxygen deprivation).

Factors that Contribute to Shoulder Dystocia

Some women are more likely than others to experience shoulder dystocia during childbirth. Factors contributing to the risk of shoulder dystocia include:

  • A very large baby
  • Diabetes in the mother
  • Pregnant with more than one child
  • Obese mother
  • Labor and delivery after the due date
  • The mother experienced shoulder dystocia in the past
  • Induced labor
  • Epidural during labor (pain medication administered through a tube in the lower back)
  • Operative vaginal birth (doctor uses forceps, vacuum, or other tools to move the baby through the birth canal)

What Physicians Can Do To Prevent Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia occurs most commonly with babies who weigh more than 4.5 kg (approximately 10 lbs.). Physicians and care providers can help prevent shoulder dystocia by predicting a large baby and recommending that the labor be induced before full term.

What a Medical Provider Can Do If Shoulder Dystocia Occurs

If shoulder dystocia occurs, the provider can call in assistance from other staff, which may include the obstetrician, midwives, and a pediatrician. The care provider should focus on getting the mother into a new position to increase pelvic size (provided she has not had an epidural), and if that fails to correct the problem, move the baby into a better position. If changing positions does not work, the doctor may opt to break the baby’s collar bone to free the shoulder.

Doctors and midwives may try various maneuvers, such as flexing the mother’s legs toward her shoulders as she lies on her back, or applying pressure to the pubic bone to release the shoulder. C-section may be performed as a last resort, with the mother under general anesthesia and the child moved back up the birth canal.

If your child has suffered oxygen deprivation or nerve injuries because medical staff failed to deal with shoulder dystocia properly, you may have a medical malpractice claim for compensation. Contact the Atlanta birth injury lawyers at Grant Law Office at (404) 995-3955 or toll-free at (866) 249-5513 to schedule a free consultation. We can tell you if you have a case and what damages you may be entitled to recover.

Related Articles:

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

Contact us today for a free and comprehensive case evaluation.

We require no legal retainer or upfront fees,
and you pay nothing unless we prevail.

Toll-free number: (866) 249-5513
Phone: (404) 995-3955

Our Results

$12,500,000
Wrongful Death Day Care Case

View More

Firm News

Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure

Kim Grant participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, walking over 60 miles over three days and raising ...

Habitat for Humanity

Kim and Wayne Grant have worked on two Habitat for Humanity Houses and look forward to working on more ...

Grady Hospital Volunteer Work

Kim Grant has donated volunteer hours in Atlanta, including rocking babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at Grady ...

Read more news

Our Blog

May
28

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy and Football: A Dangerous Mix

When your body is stopped mid-motion, like when it is flung forward in a car accident or during…

May
26

Meet the 2020 Best Foot Forward Winner!

It was less than two weeks ago that we announced the finalists to our 2020 Best Foot Forward…

May
13

Best Foot Forward 2020 Scholarship Finalists Announced!

We at the Grant Law Office have spent the last few weeks poring over all of the extraordinary…

Read more news

Grant Law Office Disclaimer: The legal information offered herein by Grant Law Office, is not formal legal advice, nor is it the formation of an attorney client relationship. In order for our firm to be considered your attorney there must be a signed agreement between the client and the firm. Any results set forth herein are based solely upon the circumstances of that particular case and offer no promise or guarantee on the outcome of any other case. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation.

© 2020 Grant Law Office - All rights reserved.

Photos by Carroll Morgan - Buckhead On-Site Photography | Website Design and Legal Internet Marketing by: SLS Consulting Scholarship
*Wayne Grant has been practicing law since 1979. Grant Law Office was founded in 2000.

X

Read Our Important Announcement About COVID-19

Dear valued clients, due to the COVID-19 virus and out of respect for the community, our office is offering free consultations remotely via phone and video. Please call or email us through our web contact form and we would be happy to discuss your case.

Schedule My Consultation