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Shoulder Dystocia Injury Lawyer in Palm Beach

Shoulder dystocia is a severe complication that occurs when a baby’s shoulder or shoulders become stuck during vaginal delivery. This condition can lead to severe injuries for both the mother and the baby. In some cases, shoulder dystocia can be the result of medical negligence. If your child suffered an injury due to shoulder dystocia during birth, a West Palm Beach shoulder dystocia injury lawyer can help you seek justice. Call Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. today at 561.689.8180 for a free consultation today.

What Is Shoulder Dystocia?

Shoulder dystocia happens when the baby’s head has been delivered, but the shoulders are too broad to pass through the mother’s pelvis. This can cause the baby to become stuck, requiring immediate medical intervention to prevent serious complications. If not appropriately managed, shoulder dystocia can lead to a range of injuries.

Risk Factors for Shoulder Dystocia

Several characteristics can increase the chances of shoulder dystocia, including:

  • Suspected large baby (usually over 8 pounds 14 ounces)
  • Maternal diabetes or gestational diabetes
  • Maternal obesity
  • Prolonged labor or delivery
  • Previous history of shoulder dystocia
  • Assisted delivery with forceps or vacuum

Doctors should know these risk factors and take appropriate steps to prevent or manage shoulder dystocia during delivery. For example, if a mother has gestational diabetes, her healthcare provider should closely monitor her blood sugar levels and the baby’s growth to reduce the risk of shoulder dystocia.

Potential Injuries Caused by Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia can lead to several types of injuries for the infant:

  • Brachial Plexus Injuries: These injuries happen when the baby’s neck is excessively stretched as doctors try to free the shoulders. The damage can range from minor, causing temporary weakness, to more severe, resulting in permanent disability or paralysis in the arm.
  • Fractures: During delivery, the infant’s clavicle or humerus might fracture. While these fractures typically heal, they can cause considerable pain and distress.
  • Hypoxia: If shoulder dystocia delays the delivery, the baby could suffer from hypoxia, a shortage of oxygen that can lead to brain damage and other long-term neurological issues.

The management of shoulder dystocia is crucial. Healthcare providers must act swiftly and effectively to minimize harm to the infant.

Shoulder dystocia can also lead to injuries for the mother. Delivering the baby might cause severe tearing, leading to significant bleeding. Sometimes, the strain of delivery is so great it can cause the uterus to rupture, requiring immediate medical attention.

Many of the injuries associated with shoulder dystocia can be managed with proper medical care, including physical therapy and sometimes surgery. Parents of children who have suffered from these complications should seek guidance from a shoulder dystocia injury lawyer to address the long-term effects of these birth injuries.

Preventing Shoulder Dystocia

Physicians can take several proactive steps to prevent shoulder dystocia and mitigate its associated risks. These measures are essential for protecting the mother and the baby during delivery. Some key strategies are:

  • Accurate assessment of the baby’s size and the mother’s pelvis
  • Management of maternal diabetes
  • Encouraging healthy weight gain
  • Monitoring labor and delivery progress
  • Using appropriate techniques to manage shoulder dystocia

Medical Negligence and Shoulder Dystocia

Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide the standard of care a similarly trained professional would provide in similar circumstances. If that failure results in harm to a patient, the provider may be guilty of negligence. Here, negligence may include:

  • Failure to Anticipate Shoulder Dystocia: Doctors must identify risks like maternal diabetes, obesity, or a history of large babies. If they do not assess or prepare for these risks, and complications arise during delivery, there might be grounds for a negligence claim.
  • Failure to Recognize and Respond Appropriately: It is vital to recognize shoulder dystocia quickly during delivery. Immediate action is necessary to ensure safe delivery. If a doctor fails to notice the signs or delays intervention, it can lead to serious injuries. These oversights might justify a medical negligence claim.
  • Improper Use of Assistive Delivery Devices: Using instruments like forceps or vacuum extractors improperly can trigger shoulder dystocia. If misuse leads to injury, the doctor might be liable. Proper training and careful use of these tools are crucial.
  • Documentation and Communication Failures: It is essential to document the mother’s health, the baby’s condition, and the delivery details accurately. Poor documentation can obstruct the management of shoulder dystocia. Failures in communication among the medical team can worsen the situation. These failures can delay necessary actions, leading to poor outcomes.

If you suspect that medical negligence played a role in your child’s shoulder dystocia injury, it is essential to consult with an experienced shoulder dystocia attorney who can review your case and advise you on your legal options.

Seeking Help from a West Palm Beach Shoulder Dystocia Attorney

Dealing with the aftermath of a shoulder dystocia injury can be overwhelming for families. Along with the physical and emotional challenges, you may face significant medical expenses, ongoing care costs, and lost wages if you need to take time off work to care for your child.

When you engage a seasoned shoulder dystocia lawyer, they can get to work on your case right away. They can take the following actions on your behalf:

  • Conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the occurrence of shoulder dystocia
  • Obtain an expert opinion regarding the standard of care employed during the birth
  • Assess the extent of the harm to the child and the mother through a diligent review of all medical records
  • File a claim or a lawsuit to pursue compensation from the responsible healthcare provider
  • Negotiate with the insurer for an appropriate settlement
  • If no settlement can be reached, present your case to a judge or jury

Contact a Skilled Shoulder Dystocia Lawyer Today

If you or your child suffered an injury due to shoulder dystocia, it’s essential to seek help from an experienced shoulder dystocia injury lawyer in West Palm Beach. At Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A., our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys have extensive experience handling birth injury cases, including those involving shoulder dystocia.

Remember, you are not alone in this fight. With Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. on your side, you can have confidence that your case is in good hands and that we will do everything in our power to help you secure a brighter future for your child. Contact us today at 561.689.8180 to get started.

Last Updated : June 5, 2024
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