West Palm Beach Shoulder Dystocia Lawyer


The day your child is born should be one of constant celebration. Unfortunately, every year, some parents have to spend much of this day coming to terms with the fact that there were complications during the birthing process that will forever affect their child. One example of this is known as shoulder dystocia. Often times, you’ll have a case to pursue against the hospital and the right to damages that could make life much easier for your child.

What Is Shoulder Dystocia?

Shoulder dystocia is completely preventable. “Dystocia” refers to a difficult labor. As such, shoulder dystocia happens when the child is being moved out of the birth canal and their shoulder becomes stuck, causing the initial complication. Sometimes, both of the baby’s shoulders get stuck.

When the staff realizes the baby is suffering because of shoulder dystocia, they must act quickly in order to resolve the problem. Otherwise, the baby will stay stuck in their current position and can suffer from lack of oxygen. This, too, could have permanent effects on the child. The child could also stretch nerves out or otherwise injure them during shoulder dystocia, which is one more reason to act quickly. Erb’s palsy is a common example of such an injury.

The Responsibility of the Medical Staff

Like we said before, this injury is preventable. Medical staff should know that it’s a potential risk and keep an eye out for it as necessary. There are also a number of risk factors that help make it clear there is a high risk of shoulder dystocia occurring. If ultrasounds show a large baby, for example, it naturally follows that the birth canal may not be large enough for an easy transition. A small mother could also be a risk factor, for the same reasons. Other potential risks include:

  • Small pelvis on the mother
  • Breech position
  • Excessive weight gain during pregnancy
  • Obese mother
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Previous pregnancies involving a large child or shoulder dystocia

Again, these are all factors that the medical staff should have looked into prior to the birth beginning.

When Shoulder Dystocia Occurs

Of course, despite the responsibilities of the staff, a shoulder dystocia may still occur. In that case, the medical staff should first try is having the mother move her legs in such a way that it helps widen the size of her birth canal. Gentle pressure on the mother’s stomach can help too. The medical staff may also try moving the baby by rotating them to see if that makes it easier for them to pass.

Sometimes, when the baby is really stuck and these other measures haven’t worked, the doctor or nurse may actually break the baby’s collarbone to free them. Otherwise, an emergency C-section will have to be performed.

Moving Forward with Medical Malpractice

Now that you have a better idea of what shoulder dystocia is and how it can be prevented, you should understand your rights. First of all, when in doubt, speak with a shoulder dystocia lawyer. An attorney with experience in this field will be able to tell you what your options truly are.

Whatever you do, don’t try pursuing something like this on your own. The responsible party, whether it’s a doctor or a nurse, will have the backing of their hospital. This will mean a large insurance company too. You simply won’t win your case without legal representation.

Make sure to begin your suit ASAP too. Many of these have gone on for years. Meanwhile, you may need to be paying for rehabilitation or special care to help with the damage your baby incurred as a result of shoulder dystocia.