Harm from Shoulder Dystocia from Medical Malpractice

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Does a Loved One Have Harm from Shoulder Dystocia from Medical Malpractice on Oregon?  Call Our Shoulder Dystocia Lawyer in Bend, OR

Shoulder dystocia is a very serious complication of childbirth and is considered to be an obstetrical emergency. Physicians and other healthcare providers must act quickly or babies can suffer severe harm or even death. Shoulder dystocia occurs during a vaginal delivery when the baby’s shoulders are stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone as they exit the birth canal. While it cannot always be predicted, shoulder dystocia can sometimes be prevented if it is determined before delivery that there are certain factors that place the baby at great risk for shoulder dystocia. If these factors were able to be determined prior but they were not identified and the baby suffers harm, it can be considered negligence due to the harm from shoulder dystocia.  

If this happens to you or a loved one, call our experienced shoulder dystocia lawyer in Bend, OR for a FREE consultation to learn what your rights to compensation may be under Oregon law.  We will listen to what happened to you and your loved one, reviewing whatever medical records or documents you may have.  We can advise you on the law and explain what your rights to compensation may be.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a full investigation into your claim, including hiring a medical expert to evaluate all of your medical records to determine whether you have been harmed by medical malpractice.  We will aggressively attempt to negotiate a settlement and, if the defendant will not play fair, we can protect your rights to compensation in court by commencing a lawsuit.  Learn how our experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Bend, OR can help you during a FREE consultation.

What are the Causes/Risk Factors of Shoulder Dystocia?

There are certain causes and risk factors of shoulder dystocia that can lead to this medical emergency, including the following:

  • Infant that is abnormally large in size (macrosomia)
  • Multiple birth (i.e. twins)
  • Mother who is smaller in size and has a small pelvis
  • Mother who has undergone labor induction
  • Maternal history of experiencing shoulder dystocia
  • Mother with gestational diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Need for operative vaginal delivery, and
  • Many other causes.

Medical providers are supposed to be aware of these causes and guard against them.  They also need to evaluate patients, including mothers and the baby, to ensure that the risks of shoulder dystocia are minimal to a baby.  There are ways to avoid shoulder dystocia and to protect a baby and mother from this type of injury.  The failure to do so is not harmless ignorance like many healthcare providers may try to argue, but actually medical negligence.

How is Shoulder Dystocia Managed by a Healthcare Provider to Avoid Causing Harm?

When shoulder dystocia occurs, providers have to work fast to get the baby out quickly and safely. The provider must assess where the baby’s shoulder(s) are that are lodged to be able to maneuver and dislodge the baby so they are able to be delivered safely. If these steps are followed, the baby can be delivered safely. 

But if they are not, a baby could sustain serious or catastrophic personal injuries.  This includes brachial plexus nerve injuries and damage to the vulnerable nerves or other structures in the arm.  The failure to properly manage this could be medical malpractice.

Maneuvers to Manage Shoulder Dystocia

There are four maneuvers to manage shoulder dystocia. These include the following:

  • Woods-screw maneuver
  • Posterior arm maneuver
  • Rubin
  • Jacquemier

Additionally, the use of suprabupic pressure is used to aid in dislodging the baby.  A competent healthcare provider will try these techniques, but sometimes they are not enough.  In these situations, a healthcare provider should have called for a c-section.  This is a way to guarantee that shoulder dystocia does not happen.  But far too many family care practitioners will try to do the delivery rather than allow a OB-GYN conduct the surgery.  This is for payment reasons, inasmuch as the family care doctor will not get credit or insurance money for the delivery if the OB-GYN does the c-section—a medical procedure that an OB-GYN is not qualified to do.

Complications From Shoulder Dystocia Due to Medical Malpractice

There are many complications that can occur as a result of encountering shoulder dystocia. Examples of these complications include the following:

  • Fracture of the arm or collarbone
  • Death due to asphyxiation 
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
  • Asphyxia (loss of oxygen)
  • Learning disabilities
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Erb’s palsy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Death
  • Klumpke’s palsy

How Can Shoulder Dystocia and Shoulder Dystocia Complications be Due to Medical Malpractice?

While scary, shoulder dystocia can be corrected to allow the baby to be born safely. In these cases, babies often will not suffer harm if appropriate measures are taken immediately. However, if medical providers do not take appropriate steps to correct shoulder dystocia as well as assess prior to delivery the need for a c-section if there is great risk for shoulder dystocia, it can be considered negligence. Examples of medical malpractice in relation to shoulder dystocia includes the following:

  • Failure to perform a c-section when indicated
  • Failure to appropriately assess for risk factors that place the mother and baby at great risk for shoulder dystocia
  • Failure to appropriately treat shoulder dystocia
  • Any birth injuries that are due to improperly managed shoulder dystocia
  • Fetal death due to improperly managed shoulder dystocia
  • Use of excessive force resulting in serious injuries, and
  • Many other common causes.

Do You Believe Your Child Has Harm from Shoulder Dystocia?  Call Our Shoulder Dystocia Lawyer in Bend, OR for Help

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.

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