Shoulder Dystocia Lawsuits

Free Consults with Our Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Attorneys

The birth of your child is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. But when complications during the labor and delivery process result in injury to your child, parents are often left with more questions than answers. Shoulder dystocia is one such complication that if not diagnosed quickly, could result in serious harm and permanent injury. Shoulder dystocia is a preventable childbirth complication that occurs when the infant's shoulders become stuck within the mother's body during delivery.

Shoulder dystocia can cause severe harm to the mother and child alike, and the resulting birth injuries are sometimes attributable to medical negligence. Our firm's Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys at Golomb & Honik, P.C. have successfully represented numerous parents whose children suffered life-altering injuries due to the negligence of a physician or other healthcare provider. We wish to help you too.

Take legal action on behalf of your child by calling us at (215) 278-4449 for a free case evaluation.

Shoulder Dystocia Complications

Shoulder dystocia requires expert medical attention to either perform an emergency Caesarean section or maneuver the infant into proper birthing position, depending on the individual circumstances. When the infant’s shoulder does get stuck, calm, swift, and professional management of this birth complication can prevent injury from occurring.

Lack of diagnosis or the use of improper techniques such as excessive force in attempting to correct shoulder dystocia during delivery may result in long-term-and sometimes fatal-medical complications to the child including:

  • Brain damage
  • Broken bones
  • Erb's palsy
  • Klumpke's paralysis, also known as Klumpke's palsy
  • Nerve damage
  • Lacerations

Mothers are also vulnerable to shoulder dystocia-related injuries including:

  • Hemorrhaging
  • Lacerations
  • Uterine rupture

The adverse effects that may accompany shoulder dystocia can be especially devastating to parents, because injury is often predictable and preventable.

Shoulder Dystocia Risk Factors

Doctor’s and nurses have a responsibility to identify if a pregnant woman may be at risk for developing shoulder dystocia. Once these risks are identified, doctors and health care professionals are then responsible for monitoring these women closely and taking the appropriate measures during labor and delivery to ensure that complications do not occur.

There are a number of factors that indicate if a pregnant woman may be at risk for shoulder dystocia during childbirth, including:

  • Mother has gestational diabetes
  • Mother is obese
  • Mother is carrying more than one fetus
  • Mother has suffered shoulder dystocia in a previous birth
  • Mother has previously given birth to large babies

In many cases, a knowledgeable obstetrician can identify a pregnant woman at risk for shoulder dystocia through a careful review of the mother's medical history and a thorough ultrasound evaluation. That said; shoulder dystocia might also occur even when a mother presents no risk factors.

Treatment of Shoulder Dystocia

Once shoulder dystocia is identified, it is critical that the issue be addressed and corrected as quickly as possible. Often times, emergency Caesarean section surgery is required to remove the baby swiftly and prevent lifelong disability. A doctor or midwife may also attempt several manual techniques that are designed to maneuver the baby into a proper birth position. These techniques could include:

  • McRoberts Manuever
  • Internal rotation
  • Zavanelli Manuever
  • Suprapubic pressure

When Shoulder Dystocia = Medical Malpractice

Not all instances of shoulder dystocia are the result of medical malpractice. However, when a doctor, nurse, or medical professional’s negligence caused your child’s injury, you may have cause to file a medical malpractice claim. In order to determine if your case was the result of medical malpractice, your attorney may ask:

  • If you had risk factors associated with shoulder dystocia?
  • If your doctor failed to recognize these risk factors?
  • If your doctor or nurse failed to monitor your labor and delivery properly?
  • If your doctor failed to diagnose shoulder dystocia quickly?
  • Did your doctor use forceps improperly or excessive force?
  • Did your doctor fail to order an emergency C-section?
  • Did your doctor or midwife perform a maneuver incorrectly?
  • Did your doctor use excessive force while delivering your baby?

Discuss Your Needs With Our Philadelphia Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If your child suffered adverse effects or medical complications of shoulder dystocia, you may be able to file a lawsuit. At Golomb & Honik, P.C., our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers understand the seriousness of birth injuries and the lifelong consequences that families must endure. As such, we fight aggressively for all our clients.

Please contact our office as soon as possible for the step-by-step guidance you need for your case.