Understanding shoulder dystocia and medical malpractice

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Understanding shoulder dystocia and medical malpractice

On Behalf of | May 12, 2022 | Medical Malpractice |

Medical malpractice is often a cause of harm to Texas patients and their loved ones. One of the reasons why is the prevalence of birth injuries, one of which is shoulder dystocia.

What is shoulder dystocia?

Shoulder dystocia is a medical emergency that can occur during childbirth when the baby’s shoulders get stuck after the head has already been delivered. This can happen if the baby is large, if the birth canal is small, or if there is too much pressure on the baby’s shoulders. Shoulder dystocia can cause the baby to suffer from oxygen deprivation, which can lead to brain damage or even death.

When it is a result of medical negligence

This can happen if the doctor or other medical professional does not properly monitor the baby’s size and growth during pregnancy, if they do not properly estimate the size of the birth canal, or if they do not take proper precautions during delivery. For instance, if the medical professional does not use enough lubrication or the right technique during delivery, this can increase the risk of shoulder dystocia.

If the medical professional is found to be negligent in a shoulder dystocia case, they may be liable for medical expenses, as well as any other damages that the family suffers as a result of the injury. This can include pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of income.

When it is not a result of medical negligence

There are some cases where shoulder dystocia cannot be avoided, such as when the baby is truly too large or the birth canal is too small. Additionally, sometimes shoulder dystocia occurs despite the medical professional taking all of the proper precautions. In these cases, it is not necessarily medical malpractice if the baby suffers from oxygen deprivation or other complications as a result of shoulder dystocia.

If you or a loved one gets affected by shoulder dystocia, it is important to understand your legal rights and options. If the medical institution or professional was at fault, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim in order to recover damages.

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