Trustworthy Legal Representation for Shoulder Dystocia Victims
Our compassionate medical malpractice lawyers in Washington D.C. and Baltimore are known for getting results
Numerous complications can occur during the labor and delivery process, and one of the most common is shoulder dystocia. When this condition occurs, the actions of the physician are vitally important to prevent permanent neurologic injury to the infant’s brachial plexus. If your baby experienced shoulder dystocia and brachial plexus injury (Erb’s Palsy), contact the attorneys of Schochor, Federico, and Staton, P.A. for trustworthy assistance with your medical malpractice claim.
What is shoulder dystocia?
Shoulder dystocia occurs when a newborn’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone. In order to complete delivery of the infant without causing permanent nerve damage, the physician must work to carefully free the baby’s shoulder. Failure to do so in a timely manner can cause serious injury to the mother and the child.
While there are numerous potential causes for shoulder dystocia, the extent of resulting injuries largely depends on the actions of the treating physician. Some common mistakes the physician may make in this circumstance include:
- Failure to perform a timely cesarean section
- Using undue force to complete the vaginal delivery
- Improperly employing or failing to use proper maneuvers to complete delivery
As a result of these actions, the infant may experience extensive nerve damage that ranges from permanent paralysis to loss of mobility within the arm. If allowed to remain inside of the birth canal for too long, the infant may also suffer irreversible brain damage.
In the following case of shoulder dystocia, Senior Partner Kerry D. Staton discusses what can happen when health care professionals fail to follow standard protocol during childbirth. In this case, a large baby being born to a diabetic mother is forced out through the vaginal canal, resulting in shoulder dystocia and the loss of function in one arm. Because the health care professionals failed to discuss the option of Caesarian section with the mother, and failed to follow other standard protocols for delivering large babies, it is a clear case of medical malpractice. Click here to listen to the podcast.
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Anticipating the likelihood of shoulder dystocia is one of the most effective methods of preventing the condition. Through prenatal care and observation during the labor stage, a physician should be able to adequately identify certain risk factors and take proactive measures to prevent shoulder dystocia. Certain risk factors include:
- High birth weight
- Maternal obesity
- Maternal diabetes
- Giving birth at an advanced age
- Previous shoulder dystocia
Upon identifying one or more of these risk factors, the treating physician should take adequate measures to regularly monitor the health and position of the baby throughout the later stages of the pregnancy and during the labor process. If it appears likely that the baby will experience shoulder dystocia, the doctor should determine whether a cesarean section is the most appropriate method of delivery. Physicians who fail to perform the procedure in a timely manner may be found liable for malpractice.
Contact a firm of award-winning attorneys for reliable guidance through your shoulder dystocia claim
The law firm of Schochor, Federico, and Staton, P.A. has received numerous awards and accolades for its service to medical malpractice claimants. With 30 years of experience, these attorneys have the knowledge to provide you with guidance you can trust in pursuing your shoulder dystocia claim. Contact their office at 410-234-1000 for a confidential consultation. The firm houses two offices conveniently located in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland.