Shoulder dystocia occurs in approximately 1% of deliveries. It occurs when, after delivery of the fetal head, a baby’s anterior shoulder becomes lodged (i.e., stuck) behind a mother’s pubic bone. In turn, the baby does not progress properly and specific maneuvers may be necessary to free the baby’s shoulders to prevent entrapment of the umbilical cord and oxygen deprivation.
Risk factors for a shoulder dystocia include a prior shoulder dystocia, diabetes, an inadequate pelvis, an abnormal pelvis, multiparity, prolonged gestations, preeclampsia, advanced maternal age, fetal macrosomia (large baby), and maternal obesity. As many as 20% of shoulder dystocias cause injury to the baby. These injuries include collar bone fractures, contusions, lacerations, birth asphyxia and damage to the brachial plexus nerves which can lead to Erb’s Palsy and Klumpke’s Paralysis.
Dr. Emily Hamilton, of Montreal has developed an algorithm that, once populated with data regarding a mother and an unborn baby, can calculate the probability of a shoulder dystocia. That algorithim is incorporated into the computer program called the CALM Shoulder Screen, which is making its way to the offices of obstetricians around the county. The program, which is web-based, is effective beginning at 37 weeks of gestation.
The trial lawyers at Bottar Leone, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict all types of medical malpractice and birth injury cases, including those arising out of perinatal asphyxia, hypoxia and ischemia, as well as a shoulder dystocia. If your child has been diagnosed with a birth injury, you, your child and/or your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, special education, medical expenses, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York birth injury and birth trauma attorney, contact Bottar Leone, PLLC now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.