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Shoulder dystocia and injuries during birth

| Jun 18, 2018 | birth injuries

Birth can be a miraculous experience, but it is also a serious medical experience that, over the years, has led to many injuries and even fatalities. While modern healthcare has in many ways improved the birth experience for Texas mothers and babies, it has also introduced its own dangers into the human birth experience. In addition, it is very important for doctors monitoring a birth to keep a close eye on emergent events in order to prevent dangerous birth injuries that can be stopped when noticed and diagnosed in advance.

Shoulder dystocia is one such birth injury; it occurs when a baby’s shoulders become stuck during labor after the head has passed through the birth canal. It can prevent the baby from being fully delivered, extending the time of labor and delivery, and requiring additional medical interventions to prevent complications. Shoulder dystocia can become apparent when the baby’s head begins to appear yet is not quickly followed by the rest of the body.

While most mothers and babies do not experience long-term dangers as a result of shoulder dystocia, complications can occur. These can include excessive bleeding in the mother and the tearing of tissues as well as injuries to a baby’s shoulders or arms. The most dangerous side effect of shoulder dystocia is the threat of brain damage, if the baby loses oxygen to their brain in the course of birth.

There are a number of potential factors that can increase the risk of shoulder dystocia, including a doctor’s induction of labor or the use of forceps or a vacuum to guide the baby through the birth canal. If a mother or baby suffers ongoing health effects after a birth with shoulder dystocia or other birth injuries, the parents might benefit from consulting with a medical malpractice attorney about the possibility of seeking compensation for the damages suffered.