Shoulder dystocia is a complication that can arise during the birth of a baby. While healthy babies are born each and every day in Louisiana, from time to time, unexpected and even dangerous situations occur where both the lives of the mother and the baby can be put at risk. Shoulder dystocia is just one of those situations.
Shoulder dystocia happens when one or both of a baby’s shoulders get caught in their mother’s pelvis during delivery. As a result of this problem, a doctor may have to assist the mother in delivering the child, and this can lead to a number of complications. If the doctor waits too long, the baby may suffer oxygen deprivation. Depending on how stuck they are, the baby may also suffer broken bones, nerve damage, and other physical harm.
Doctors can often predict when their patients may suffer from complications like shoulder dystocia. When a mother is very small and her baby measures very large, such a complication may occur. Similarly, if a mother is carrying more than one baby or if the baby is delivered after their due date, shoulder dystocia may be more common.
While some infants will recover from their shoulder dystocia injuries, others may require surgery to improve or may be left with permanent injuries for the rest of their lives. Such damage can include, but is not limited to, pain, numbness, nerve damage, and other harm. When shoulder dystocia affects an infant, the child’s parents may want answers. Medical malpractice attorneys can support them as they learn more about their legal options.