Philadelphia Shoulder Dystocia Injury Attorneys
Fighting for the Justice Injured Babies Deserve Since 1958
The word "dystocia" means a difficult birth or labor. Shoulder dystociaoccurs when one or both of the baby's shoulders become stuck in the birth canal or the mother's pelvic bone, thereby not allowing the baby to be delivered and putting it at risk of a oxygen deprivation and nerve damage.
When a medical professional realizes that the baby is experiencing shoulder dystocia, they must quickly and safely address the situation to make sure the baby is not harmed. If a baby's shoulder dystocia is not treated properly, it could cause permanent brain damage or a brachial plexus injury, such as Erb's Palsy.
Work With Our Experienced Birth Injury Law Firm
If your baby suffered a shoulder dystocia injury due to inadequate medical attention, you need the help of The Beasley Firm. We are known throughout Pennsylvania for our record-setting recoveries in the field of birth injury law, all due to our commitment to excellence.
Our highly specialized team works with nurses and doctors who have witnessed thousands of labors and births, providing the medical insight necessary to prove your case. Since 1958, our firm has been awarded tens of millions of dollars for birth injury victims and over $2 billion on behalf of all our clients.
Call (215) 866-2424 to begin a free consultation today!
Did Your Doctor Fail to Identify the Risks of Shoulder Dystocia?
To effectively prevent shoulder dystocia injuries, it is crucial for your doctor to identify risk factors in your pregnancy that could lead to this condition.
The following factors could result in shoulder dystocia:
- Gestational diabetes
- Large infant
- Breech position
- Large pregnancy weight gain
- Small pelvis
- Small mother
- Overdue baby
- Obese mother
- Previous pregnancy with shoulder dystocia
- Previous of a large baby
After identifying the risks present, your doctor should have a plan in place to address shoulder dystocia, should it occur during labor and delivery.
Treating Shoulder Dystocia & Preventing Injury
If shoulder dystocia does occur during birth, there are certain things your physician, nurse, or midwife can do to help alleviate the situation and prevent the baby from being injured.
The first thing usually attempted is a repositioning of the mother's legs to help widen the birth canal. If that does not work, gentle pressure may be applied to the mother's lower abdomen. Sometimes, the doctor or nurse will try to rotate and turn the baby to see if that releases the shoulder.
As a last resort, the doctor may break the baby's clavicle in order to guide it safely out of the birth canal. However, if none of those procedures work, a C-section will have to be performed. The key is to quickly and safely release the stuck shoulder before any permanent damage is done to the baby.
Brachial Plexus Injuries During Delivery
One of the most common injuries that can occur because of the mishandling of shoulder dystocia is damage to the brachial plexus nerves. Brachial plexus injuries can include ruptured nerves, stretched nerves, crushed nerves, scar tissue development or neuroma, or an avulsion injury in which the spine and the nerve are detached.
The following are conditions that can result from a brachial plexus injury:
- Klumpke's Palsy: This generally causes the fingers and hands to be paralyzed.
- Horner's Syndrome: This may cause droopy eyelids and uneven pupil size.
- Erb's Palsy: The infant may hold their arm close to the body, with their palm faced backward. The arm will not move from below the elbow.
- Complete Brachial Plexus Injury: This is the most severe form of injury, causing total paralysis to the arm.
Some brachial plexus injuries may get better as time passes. However, other brachial plexus injuries are so severe that they are permanent. Once a brachial plexus injury is diagnosed, the infant will be started on physical therapy and watched for a few months to see if the nerve damage is getting better. If the nerve damage is not getting any better, surgery may be needed in order to repair the damage.
We're Ready to Take Your Case to Trial, No Matter What!
Nationally recognized, The Beasley Firm has successfully litigated shoulder dystocia and brachial plexus injury cases with substantial results. In addition to our experienced trial attorneys, we also have two physicians and three registered nurses on staff, including two that have specialized in pregnancy, labor, and newborn care.
Our nurses have witnessed hundreds of shoulder dystocia labors, just like the one you or a loved one experienced. Their collective knowledge has assisted us in obtaining two of the largest medical negligence verdicts in Pennsylvania history, $100 million, and $55 million, as well as countless other multi-million dollar judgments and settlements.
We work on a contingency basis, meaning that if we don't recover compensation on your behalf, you don't pay us anything. Call (215) 866-2424 for a free consult.