Shoulder dystocia is a complication that happens when the baby's shoulder gets stuck in the birth canal. It's an emergency situation because it could cause serious injury to the infant and mother. Thus, Atlanta doctors must respond properly in cases of shoulder dystocia in order to reduce the risk of injury.
Infant Complications That Can Occur with Shoulder Dystocia
A less serious complication is a broken collarbone or arm. This can happen when a doctor attempts to maneuver the entrapped shoulder. In some cases, the doctor may intentionally break the collarbone to free the child from the birth canal.
Another type of injury, brachial plexus injury, involves the nerves in the shoulder area. In cases of shoulder dystocia, entrapment of, and attempts to free, the shoulder may cause damage to these nerves. Types of brachial plexus injury include Erb’s palsy, Klumpke’s palsy, and more.
Some of the symptoms of a brachial plexus injury include:
- loss of muscle control;
- loss of sensation; and
- a limp or paralyzed arm.
Many recover after a few weeks or months, but others suffer permanent injury. A lack of oxygen is another complication that can occur with shoulder dystocia if the umbilical cord becomes compressed. The longer the child is deprived of oxygen, the greater the risk of brain damage. In some cases, it could even result in death.
Shoulder Dystocia Complications Affecting the Mother
In general, complications are less severe for the mother. This can include bruising of the bladder and lacerations of the vagina, rectum, cervix or uterus. However, there is also the risk of excessive bleeding.
Holding a Doctor Liable for Injuries
Difficulties during the birthing process aren't uncommon. Most of the time doctors are successful in handling the situation. But sometimes there are circumstances in which a mother might question if the problem was preventable. Or a mother might have concerns about the way the doctor treated the medical situation.
If the doctor failed to take appropriate action, and you or your child suffered injury, then the doctor may be liable for these or other related injuries. Call Jason R. Schultz at 404-474-0804 to set up a consultation.