What complications may result from shoulder dystocia?


Despite advances in medicine and improvements in prenatal care, mothers and babies in Pittsburgh face many risks when the labor and delivery process begins. Even the best medical practitioners and medical devices cannot anticipate every complication that a mom and her unborn child will bring to the process. For this reason, it is not uncommon for complications to arise when a child is about to be born.

Many labor and delivery complications can be managed when doctors and nurses carefully monitor their patients and react appropriately when changes in the conditions of laboring mothers and not-yet-born children occur. Some birth injuries may be unavoidable, such as when an injury occurs while medical professionals engage in life-saving procedures to keep the mother and baby safe. Other birth injuries may be avoidable, though, and may only occur because doctors and hospital staff fail to recognize complications as they arise.

One birth complication that is sometimes avoidable is shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia happens when a baby's shoulders cannot pass through the mother's birth canal. The baby effectively becomes lodged in the mother, at which time a host of serious complications can occur if the issue is not quickly addressed.

For example, a baby who is stuck inside of their mother may risk oxygen deprivation and resulting brain injuries from shoulder dystocia. Additionally, a baby who cannot pass through the mother may suffer broken bones in the upper torso during extraction. Finally, injuries to a baby during a shoulder dystocia-affected birth may cause nerve damage in the child, which sometimes may be irreversible.

Though it is not common, shoulder dystocia can be a serious birth complication that in some cases may be avoided through Caesarian births. Those who have been affected by suffered shoulder dystocia complications during the births of their children may wish to discuss their legal rights with birth injury and medical malpractice attorneys who may be able to help them recover compensation for the damages they have suffered.

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