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Preventable shoulder dystocia can cause labor and delivery deaths

| Jun 14, 2021 | Doctor Errors |

For many Portland parents, labor and delivery is an overwhelming experience. While many mothers begin the process with worries and concerns and end with healthy babies, others suffer serious medical complications that put their lives and the lives of their unborn children at risk. Competent and proactive medical care can make all the difference when a medical emergency presents itself during labor and delivery.

One complication that can arise during the birth of a baby is shoulder dystocia. This post will provide information about this serious condition, but readers are reminded that no part of this post offers medical or legal advice. Readers who have suffered losses due to shoulder dystocia and other birth injury complications are encouraged to speak with medical malpractice attorneys to learn more about their rights and options under the law.

Understanding shoulder dystocia

Shoulder dystocia is a medical condition that happens when a baby’s shoulder becomes lodged in the birthing canal. There are many reasons that shoulder dystocia may happen, including the size of the baby and conditions present in the mother. However, doctors who properly monitor their patients can find signs of shoulder dystocia before it becomes a life-threatening problem.

When a baby becomes lodged in the birthing canal and cannot pass through on the efforts of the mother, a doctor may need to use medical intervention in order to continue the delivery process and protect the health of the baby and mother. Forceps, vacuum suction, and even cesarean section deliveries may be necessary to prevent a baby from losing oxygen and suffering stress due to shoulder dystocia.

Dangers related to shoulder dystocia

There are a range of medical problems that can accompany shoulder dystocia during labor and delivery. A baby may suffer a broken bone or nerve damage that may affect them in the short or long-term. Oxygen deprivation may become a problem for a baby if they are unable to pass through the birthing canal and if their umbilical cord is affected during the process. Mothers who experience shoulder dystocia may also suffer negative repercussions from not having the condition remedied by their medical care providers.

When a family is impacted by the often-preventable condition of shoulder dystocia, it is important that they understand their rights and the medical malpractice laws that may offer them paths to seeking compensation for their losses. Attorneys who work with birth injury clients can advise and represent families facing this difficult process.

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