Jackson Shoulder Dystocia Attorneys
Fighting for Injured Newborns & New Mothers
Was your child injured at birth as a result of mismanaged shoulder dystocia? 'MAGGIO LAW in Jackson can help you seek justice and fair compensation. We have a long history of taking on difficult cases and winning, including complex medical malpractice and birth injury lawsuits. You can trust us to help when it matters more than ever.
What is Shoulder Dystocia?
Shoulder dystocia is a childbirth complication that occurs when a baby’s shoulder gets lodged against the mother’s pelvis during delivery. Although many cases end without injury, shoulder dystocia can cause serious injuries, like Erb's palsy and other brachial plexus injuries, if medical providers do not handle the situation correctly.
Birth injuries caused by shoulder dystocia can include:
- Brachial plexus injury: Shoulder dystocia can cause a baby to suffer from brachial plexus injury, which is an injury to the bundle of nerves that runs from the neck down to the arm. The most common symptom of brachial plexus injury is decreased movement in the affected arm and hand, as well as muscle weakness and atrophy. In severe cases, a baby may also experience numbness or paralysis in the affected arm.
- Fractured clavicle: Shoulder dystocia can also cause a baby’s clavicle (collarbone) to fracture during delivery. This type of fracture is known as a fractured clavicle, and it is usually accompanied by swelling and pain in the affected area. In some cases, a fractured clavicle may require surgery to repair it.
- Hypoxia: Shoulder dystocia can also lead to hypoxia, which is when there is not enough oxygen reaching the baby’s brain due to compression of their umbilical cord during delivery. Hypoxia can lead to permanent neurological damage if not treated quickly, so it is important that medical professionals are able to recognize signs of shoulder dystocia in order to prevent this complication from occurring.
- Maternal injury: Shoulder dystocia can also cause injury to the mother during delivery due to excessive force being used on her body while attempting to deliver her baby safely. Common maternal injuries associated with shoulder dystocia include lacerations or tears in the vagina or perineum, as well as uterine rupture or bladder rupture caused by excessive pressure during delivery attempts.
How Common Is Shoulder Dystocia?
The incidence of shoulder dystocia in the United States is relatively low, occurring in approximately 1-3% of vaginal births (with higher rates for babies weighing more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces). However, even with its rarity, obstetricians and midwives must be prepared to manage it to prevent any serious birth injuries.
Possible Risk Factors for Shoulder Dystocia
Most cases of shoulder dystocia are not predicted and can occur in babies with a normal birth weight. However, there are several risk factors that doctors and midwives should take into consideration, including:
- Large baby size: Babies that are larger than average can be more difficult to deliver, as they may not fit through the birth canal easily. This is especially true if the baby’s head is larger than average, as this can make it more difficult to rotate and move into position for delivery.
- Gestational diabetes: Women with gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of shoulder dystocia due to their elevated blood sugar levels, which can lead to a larger than average baby size. Additionally, diabetes can cause other complications during pregnancy such as high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, which can further increase the risk of shoulder dystocia.
- Prolonged labor: Prolonged labor increases the chances of shoulder dystocia occurring due to exhaustion and fatigue on behalf of both mother and baby. This is because prolonged labor increases the chances that a baby will become stuck in an awkward position in the birth canal due to exhaustion or lack of energy on behalf of either party.
- Maternal position during delivery: The maternal position during delivery also plays a role in increasing or decreasing the risk of shoulder dystocia occurring during childbirth. For example, delivering in an upright position rather than lying down has been shown to reduce the chances of shoulder dystocia.
- Previous shoulder dystocia: If you have experienced shoulder dystocia with a previous birth, then you are at an increased risk of experiencing it again with future births.
Can Brachial Plexus Injuries Be Treated?
Different methods will be needed to treat brachial plexus injuries, such as Erb's palsy, depending on the severity of the injury. An orthopedic specialist, pediatrician, and physical therapist may need to work in conjunction with each other to determine the best approach to treat your child’s shoulder injury.
Treatments that can help with brachial plexus injuries include:
- Physical therapy
- Rehabilitative therapy
Injuries to the mother suffered due to shoulder dystocia will need altogether different treatments, of course. The common thread is that all of these treatments can be expensive and extensive. When pursuing compensation, we will be sure to fight for a full amount that pays for all necessary medical treatments, as well as any complications that can arise in the future. For example, if your child was permanently disabled due to a birth injury, then the compensation owed to your family could be significant.
Call Our Firm So We Can Help
Time can move quickly while you are dealing with the aftermath of a serious birth injury that hurt your child, like shoulder dystocia. Before you lose track of the days too much and lose the chance to file a claim against the medical provider who caused the injury, get our firm on your side. Our shoulder dystocia attorneys in Jackson, MS can assist with all parts of your case, such as filing the claim, negotiating a settlement, going to trial, and much more.
Dial (601) 265-6869 to speak with our Jackson shoulder dystocia lawyers.