During some vaginal births, the baby's head passes with no problem, but the shoulders become lodged behind the mother's pelvic bone. The infant's shoulders could be injured when dislodged. This injury is called shoulder dystocia. Medical staff trained to deliver babies are usually educated on proper methods needed to address dystocia. Still, errors occur. Our North Carolina attorneys represent mothers and babies who were injured during childbirth due to inadequate professional care.
- Disabilities. Paralysis and permanent disability are possible if the infant is not handled properly when treating staff improperly dislodge the baby during delivery. Not only could a baby's mobility be compromised, but depending on their position while stuck during delivery, they might not be able to breathe. Lack of oxygen could contribute to cerebral palsy, permanent brain damage, or be fatal.
- Diabetes. Research from the American Academy of Family Physicians shows that women with diabetes have a higher risk of experiencing a birth with dystocia.
- Late delivery. Babies born after their due date have a greater risk of dystocia.
If the mother had given birth to other babies with dystocia complications, is obese, or if labor needs to be induced, medical staff should take precautions for delivery problems. Physicians have special tests that they can perform to help screen high-risk pregnancies. In some instances, a doctor may overlook these screenings and it could be considered negligence depending on the comprehensive terms of the case.
The baby is not the only person at risk should dystocia occur. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, 11 percent of women who experience dystocia during childbirth will experience a postpartum hemorrage.
Read about a Beaufort, North Carolina birth injury case that awarded the child more than $1 million.