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Risk factors that could lead to shoulder dystocia in newborns

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2022 | Medical Negligence |

If you ask most expecting parents whether they are hoping for a boy or a girl, many will respond with a hope for a healthy child, period. Anticipating the birth of a child holds the potential for so much joy and love, and it is also rife with worry over what could possibly go wrong. 

While advancements in modern medicine enable us to overcome so many complications that we couldn’t even foresee let alone resolve in the past, human beings are still capable of committing errors with the potential of life-altering and even life-threatening consequences. One somewhat common birth injury is called shoulder dystocia. It is a condition that occurs when a baby’s shoulder gets stuck in the mother’s pelvis after the baby’s head has already emerged. 

Not all risk factors are due to the mother or baby 

If your child is born with shoulder dystocia, your doctor may suggest several causes. Things such as maternal obesity, diabetes, pregnancy with multiples and a baby with high birth weight all could increase the possibility of birth injury.  

However, sometimes the cause is due to human error on the part of your doctor or medical professional. 

Some behavior-based factors that could be associated with shoulder dystocia include: 

  •     Encouraging labor induction through oxytocin 
  •     Receiving an epidural for pain management
  •     Receiving manual assistance with delivery from the physician via the use of forceps or vacuum 
  •     Pursuing a vaginal birth instead of cesarean delivery despite clear signs of distress

If your child sustained a birth injury such as shoulder dystocia and the explanation you received doesn’t feel true to you, it is worth exploring further. You may have a legitimate case of medical malpractice against your doctor or medical professional, and that could make them liable for all relevant medical treatments as well as other compensation as your child recovers.


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