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Burke Law

Shoulder Dystocia Cases Help Address Birth Injuries

By Sean Burke on January 30, 2016

Hands holding blocks that spell "rights"The lawyers at the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke are proud to serve injury victims in and around Orange County, providing expert legal counsel and diligent representation. This kind of support is crucial in birth injury lawsuits and medical malpractice cases involving babies.

With that in mind, we'd like to turn our attention to legal matters involving shoulder dyscotia, which is a serious issue that may arise during childbirth.

What Is Shoulder Dystocia?

Shoulder dystocia refers to a type of obstructed labor. (The word dystocia means difficult birth or labor.) It occurs when a baby's head is delivered properly through the vagina, but his or her shoulder get stuck inside of the mother's body during delivery.

When shoulder dystocia occurs, it can be alarming and poses health risks for both the mother and the child. Medical professionals need to act fast and decisively in order to address these matters.

Causes and Risk Factors of Shoulder Dystocia

While shoulder dystocia is technically not preventable or predictable, there are some potential causes and risk factors that may make this form of obstructed labor more likely.

Some potential risk factors to consider include:

  • Previous shoulder dystocia in childbirth
  • Fetal macrosomia (infant has large body when compared to head size)
  • Maternal obesity
  • Maternal diabetes
  • Age of the mother
  • Issues with pelvic anatomy/shape

These issues should be taken into account in the lead up to delivery.

What Doctors and Midwives Should Do in Such Cases

When facing any issue with obstructed delivery, the person delivery can consider trying to reposition the child so that the birth is easier. Steps can also be taken to widen the pelvis and assist with childbirth by changing the mother's leg position. Any of these maneuvers will need to be carefully performed to prevent injury.

In some cases, a Cesarean section may be necessary to avoid harming the child and the mother in the process. In drastic instances, it may be necessary to break the baby's collar bone in order for the child to be born.

Will There Be Lasting Harm to My Baby?

Thankfully many of the above procedures to address obstructed childbirth prove quite effective and result in no serious or permanent injury to the mother or child. Even if a child's collarbone needs to be fractured, proper care allows the child to heal properly without lasting effects to shoulder and arm strength.

However, there are cases in which an obstetrician or midwife may be negligent in his or her duties, which can lead to major harm and long-term repercussions.

Taking Potential Birth Injuries and Mistakes Seriously

Because obstructed birth can lead to a host of problems for mothers and children, we take all cases of obstructed birth injuries seriously. When birth injuries lead to lifelong challenges for a baby or lasting harm to a mother, our attorneys will fight diligently on the behalf of the injured.

We will seek damages to address medical expenses, emotional pain and suffering, and other matters related to an act of medical negligent. Having a skilled medical malpractice lawyer on your side can only help you and your loved ones achieve peace of mind while considering the future.

Contact the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke

To learn more about your legal options following an injury to your baby or any sort of costly medical mistake that affects your loved ones, be sure to contact our personal injury law firm today. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke will fight diligently for you.

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