Can Shoulder Dystocia Cause Birth Injuries? Oregon Birth Injury Lawyer

Can Shoulder Dystocia Cause Birth Injuries

Understanding Birth Injuries: Can Shoulder Dystocia Cause Birth Injuries?  Our Birth Injury Lawyer Explains

A lot of people have heard of birth injuries and complications due to the baby getting stuck in the birth canal.  This includes having the baby’s shoulder get stuck.  This is known as shoulder dystocia, and most people have heard of that too.  Some people ask can shoulder dystocia cause birth injuries and how can it be prevented.  This is because most people actually know what it is and how it is caused.  In addition, most people do not realize that shoulder dystocia is a type of shoulder dystocia that can be due to Oregon medical malpractice.  This is usually because most doctors and healthcare professionals will tell families that the injuries caused by shoulder dystocia are unavoidable or normal complications of birthing.  But our Oregon birth injury lawyer knows that it is not the truth.  

It fact, it can be the opposite.  Shoulder dystocia can absolutely cause birth injuries that are permanent and debilitating.  Most instances of shoulder dystocia can actually result in personal injuries by itself, but usually there are other co-morbidities and complications.  The worst part is that most instances of shoulder dystocia can be avoided with proper pre-screening and treatment, including proper evaluations of the maternal pelvic girth and the fetal weight/size.  These basic pre-screening evaluations can help save the mother and the baby especially from serious injury.

What is Shoulder Dystocia?

Shoulder dystocia is a birth complication that is usually preventable.  It is caused when one or both of the baby’s shoulders do not fit through the cervix or birth canal.  This causes the baby to get stuck or jammed in the cervix and/or pelvis.  As a result, the baby may completely not fit and an immediate and emergency c-section must be done to save the life of the baby.  Sometimes a doctor may be able to manipulate the baby through the birth canal, but that is not always safe because it can place undue stress on the baby’s head, neck, and shoulder.  As a result, shoulder dystocia can cause serious neck injuries to an infant.

Risks and Warning Signs of Shoulder Dystocia 

There are some warning signs of shoulder dystocia before the labor and delivery process even starts.  One common way is high maternal blood pressure.  This can cause a baby’s size to increase to a point where the baby could not fit through the birth canal.

Another common risk or warning sign of shoulder dystocia is gestational diabetes.  This can cause a baby to increase in size that is much larger due to increased energy from the sugar in the blood given by the mother.  This can also increase the baby’s size due to extra nutrients carried in the blood.  This rapid increase will cause a baby to grow to a very large size that is unlikely to fit through must birth canals.

Injuries Due to Shoulder Dystocia

Can shoulder dystocia cause birth injuries is an easy question to answer: yes, absolutely.  There are common injuries that can be caused by shoulder dystocia or the result of trying to treat it.  This includes some injuries that can cause permanent damage to an infant.  Our Oregon birth injury lawyer knows that these types of injuries could be devastating to a victim and his or her family.

One common injury is brachial plexus injuries.  This is an injury to the nerves of a baby’s arm.  The arm nerve injuries could be mild or debilitating, including shutting off the entire arm’s ability to move or feel.  This means that victims could suffer great damage with a brachial plexus nerve injury.  When the top of the arm is only effected, it is Erb’s Palsy.  When the bottom of the arm is only effected, that is Klumpke’s Palsy.  Both are devastating, especially if the nerve is completely torn or pulled away from the spinal cord.

Another common injury is very serious, cerebral palsy.  This is caused by the compression when a baby is caught in the birth canal.  The baby could suffer a decrease in oxygen flow that results in serious personal injuries when that decrease results in a deficiency.  The organ most heavily impacted is the brain that is rapidly developing.  When the brain suffers an oxygen deprivation, it can cause damage to it in the form of lesions.  When the lesions are to certain parts of the brain that govern motor movement, that is what causes cerebral palsy.  The more severe the damage, the more severe the form of cerebral palsy.  

Ask our Oregon Birth Injury Lawyer for Help with Shoulder Dystocia 

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.

For a free case evaluation


(541) 385-1999 in Bend, Oregon
(503) 479-3646 in Portland, Oregon
(612) 444-3374 in Minnesota

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