Shoulder Dystocia Lawyers in Denver
During childbirth, an infant’s shoulder can become stuck in the birth canal after the head is delivered, this is called shoulder dystocia. Doctors have several procedures to safely complete the birth without injuring the baby or mother, but if a doctor misuses equipment or panics, then her error can lead to a child’s lifelong disability. Failing to properly respond to shoulder dystocia and prevent a newborn’s injuries is medical malpractice, and parents may be eligible for full compensation for their child’s trauma.
If you or your child suffered an injury because of poorly handled shoulder dystocia, please call Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free at (877) 433-3906 for a no-cost consultation. Our team of trial lawyers has handled many serious birth injuries across the United States, and we have the resources to investigate and pursue any case.
Shoulder dystocia is a medical emergency that occurs when after delivery of the fetal head, additional measures are needed to deliver the shoulders. The baby’s shoulders can become stuck on the mother’s pelvic bones, extending the delivery time and increasing the risk of injury. Once this complication develops, it is too late for doctors to attempt a C-section, but a well-trained and experienced doctor should know how to proceed. With proper care and technique, shoulder dystocia can be alleviated through maneuvers like suprapubic pressure, the McRoberts maneuver, or the Woods’ screw maneuver.
Unfortunately, many doctors panic and tug on the baby’s head and neck, which stretches the brachial plexus nerves in the baby’s shoulder, causing temporary or permanent paralysis in the arm. Failing to respond to shoulder dystocia correctly can result in lifelong injuries and extensive medical bills for the child. Any newborn who is injured due to medical negligence deserves the compensation necessary to live a normal and healthy life.
Shoulder dystocia increases the likelihood a more serious injury will occur during delivery. Pulling too hard on a newborn can damage nerves or cause full-blown paralysis, especially if the doctor misuses assisted delivery devices like forceps or vacuums. Depending on how long the dystocia lasted, a baby can suffer from oxygen deprivation leading to brain damage if the umbilical cord is compromised. Shoulder dystocia can also have adverse consequences for a mother, and leave her with postpartum hemorrhage, serious lacerations, as well as other internal injuries.
Shoulder dystocia can result in serious medical complications for a newborn, including:
- Brachial plexus palsy
- Klumpke’s palsy/Erb’s palsy
- Brain damage
- Cerebral palsy
- Fractured arms, shoulders, or collarbone
Doctors should follow proper procedures when delivering a baby and be prepared for medical complications like shoulder dystocia. Parents and children who were injured by medical malpractice deserve full compensation.
Shoulder dystocia can happen spontaneously, but certain pregnancies are more at risk for shoulder dystocia. If a mother has one or more of these factors, her doctor should be able to anticipate and prepare for a potential dystocia situation, even scheduling a C-section if need be:
- A large baby
- Forceps or vacuum extraction
- Previous dystocia
- Diabetes mellitus
- Post-term baby
- Maternal weight gain
The expenses that come with shoulder dystocia can be truly crippling. Children with permanent injuries will undergo endless trips to the doctor. The parents take on medical and surgical costs, physical therapy, and a lifetime of medical equipment. Such a high financial burden should not be placed on the shoulders of parents who did nothing wrong. This is why it’s important to figure out if medical malpractice was the cause of your child’s birth injury.
If your child suffered from a birth injury related to shoulder dystocia, please reach out to the trial attorneys at Leventhal Puga Braley P.C. Since 1981, we have helped families in Colorado recover compensation for their trauma and handled hundreds of birth injuries throughout the United States. We have a long history of fighting on behalf of parents in order to get justice for their children. As parents ourselves, we could do nothing less. There is no cost for an initial consultation, and you are more than welcome to contact our Denver medical malpractice attorneys about your case. Call us today at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free at (877) 433-3906.
- Shoulder Dystocia - March of Dimes
- Management of Shoulder Dystocia - Healthline
- Shoulder Dystocia: An Evidence-Based Approach - Journal of Prenatal Medicine