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Birth Injury Explained: Shoulder Dystocia


When shoulder dystocia occurs, it puts both mother and baby at risk for permanent damage. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, shoulder dystocia occurs in approximately 1 out of every 1,000 births.

Shoulder dystocia happens when a baby’s shoulders remain stuck in the mother’s pelvis after the head of the infant has already been delivered.

Shoulder dystocia creates nerve damage to the baby that can result in further complications such as Erb’s palsy, Klumpke’s palsy, and brachial plexus injuries.

Potential causes include:

  • Attempting to pull out the lodged baby, placing undue stress on the head and neck
  • Maternal diabetes
  • Late labor and delivery
  • Incorrect epidural administration
  • Maternal obesity
  • Mothers who are pregnant with more than one baby

When medical professionals fail to take the necessary precautions or are negligent in administering care; the subsequent shoulder dystocia diagnosis could be the result of medical malpractice.

Potter Law, LLC prides itself on being able to support individuals going through the process of seeking compensation for birth injuries. If your baby was harmed because of negligent medical care, you have the right to compensation. Contact Potter Law, LLC today to discuss your available options.