New Jersey Shoulder Dystocia Lawyers
Attorneys for Birth Injury Victims throughout New Jersey
During labor and delivery, the position of your child in the birth canal is extremely important. In order to ensure a successful delivery, your doctor must accurately identify where your baby is situated and take appropriate measures if there is a risk that he or she may be injured traveling through the birth canal. Shoulder dystocia is a serious birth complication that occurs when a baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother’s public bone. If your child has shoulder dystocia, there are several birthing maneuvers that a physician can employ to adjust his or her position, or an emergency C-section may be necessary to prevent serious harm.
If a doctor doesn’t recognize shoulder dystocia or improperly executes a maneuver to correct the issue, your baby could experience significant birth trauma. When these tragic events occur, you as a parent have the right to hold negligent medical professionals accountable for the injuries they caused. Our attorneys have considerable experience representing birth injury victims in New Jersey, including children who have suffered complications related to shoulder dystocia. For a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey birth injury attorney, reach out to us online or call (866)-708-8617 now.
What is Shoulder Dystocia?
“Dystocia” refers to a difficult birth, which may be caused by a variety of factors. In cases involving shoulder dystocia, a birth becomes difficult because one or both of the baby’s shoulders are impacted behind the mother’s pubic bone. Often, shoulder dystocia occurs because the mother’s pelvis is very small or the child is unusually large for the period of gestation (called fetal macrosomia). Certain maternal conditions like gestational diabetes also increase the likelihood that shoulder dystocia will occur during childbirth.
Shoulder Dystocia Medical Negligence
If shoulder dystocia arises during delivery, there are several maneuvers that obstetricians can use to release the shoulder or shoulders. Doctors must be familiar with these maneuvers, know when they should be used, and effectively execute them. Failure to perform a necessary maneuver or incorrectly performing it may cause serious birth injury. In fact, errors when dealing with shoulder dystocia may lead to brachial plexus injury, clavicular or humerus fracture, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), or even death of the child.
Some of the ways healthcare providers can make medical mistakes in shoulder dystocia deliveries include:
- Failure to perform a maneuver
- Using excessive force
- Delayed performance of a maneuver
- Failure to order a cesarean section
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors
Shoulder Dystocia and Brachial Plexus Injuries
One of the most common birth injuries associated with shoulder dystocia is damage to the brachial plexus nerve group, which extends from where the neck meets the spine to the ends of the fingers. The brachial plexus nerves are responsible for controlling movement and sensation in the shoulder, shoulder, arm, wrist, hand, and fingers. When a doctor applies too much force during delivery, the brachial plexus nerves can become damaged. If these essential nerves experience trauma, the child may experience resulting conditions like Erb’s Palsy or Klumpke’s Palsy. Depending on the specific site of nerve trauma and extent of the injuries, the child’s ability to move their arm or shoulder may be compromised for the remainder of their life. In the worst cases, the entire affected arm may be paralyzed.
Intrapartum Asphyxia from Shoulder Dystocia
If the baby is in an awkward position that is not corrected in a timely manner, shoulder dystocia may lead to oxygen deprivation. If the brain suffers from lack of blood and oxygen for even a minute, permanent brain damage may result. Fetal asphyxia is a serious complication of shoulder dystocia. In the most tragic scenarios, the baby will die before exiting the birth canal. In other cases, fetal distress will lead to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, Cerebral Palsy, and other forms of brain injury caused by lack of oxygen to the brain.
Consult a New Jersey Shoulder Dystocia Injury Attorney Today
Did your child’s doctor fail to exercise proper care when handling shoulder dystocia? Did your child suffer a shoulder dystocia birth injury because of an obstetrician’s negligence? Our highly skilled New Jersey birth injury lawyers have successfully handled countless obstetric malpractice cases related to shoulder dystocia and brachial plexus nerve damage. Contact us today at (866)-708-8617 for a free evaluation of your child’s case. Our attorneys have the knowledge to assess your legal claim and discuss the potential for pursuing damages.