Our expert attorneys can determine whether your baby’s shoulder dystocia was preventable. If we determine it was the result of a medical misdiagnosis, error, or negligence, we can help you file a medical malpractice claim against the negligent parties. A shoulder dystocia lawyer from our Daytona, FL, law office can handle all of the necessary legal proceedings, so that you can focus on your family's health and well-being. At Chanfrau & Chanfrau, we are large enough to help, yet small enough to provide personal and compassionate service. Rest assured, we are here to assist you in any way we can. Contact our firm to schedule a consultation.
Understanding the Condition
Shoulder dystocia results from an obstruction during birth. Specifically, the shoulder or shoulders of the infant become obstructed on the pubic bone after the head has passed through the birth canal. This obstruction can place tremendous strain on the brachial nerve complex, which is a collection of nerves running through the neck and shoulders to the arms. If it is not immediately addressed, shoulder dystocia can place undue and unsafe amounts of pressure on the umbilical cord as well. Potential complications that can arise as a result of shoulder dystocia include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erb's Palsy
- Klumpke paralysis
- Fetal hypoxia
- Fetal death
- Maternal post-partum hemorrhage
- Vaginal lacerations
Shoulder dystocia poses not only significant risk to the child, but the mother as well. If this condition is indicated during birth, the attending healthcare professionals should take immediate action. Many obstetrical maneuvers have been shown to be effective treatment options in the event of dystocia. For this reason, shoulder dystocia that is left untreated can be an indicator of medical malpractice.
Causes of Shoulder Dystocia
It is important to note that there are known risk factors for shoulder dystocia. If any of these pre-conditions exist, it may indicate the need for Cesarian section birth. Signs that shoulder dystocia may be likely include:
- Patient has diabetes
- Patient is 35 years of age or older
- Patient is short in stature
- Patient has a small or abnormally sized pelvis
- A gestation period of 42 weeks or more
- Fetal macrosomia, or abnormally high birth weight or size
- Maternal obesity
If these risk factors were present and known by the attending medical team, and natural birth was still recommended, it may be grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Other known risk factors occur during birth, and include:
- The need for oxytocics to promote rapid labor
- A prolonged first or second stage of labor
- The head retreating back into the birth canal after erupting
- The head bobbing in the second stage of labor
- No shoulder rotation or descent during labor
If any of these situations occur during labor, the medical team should explore all options in order to expedite the delivery. Once shoulder dystocia occurs, the baby is at risk; this risk further increases for every minute the condition is allowed to continue.
Damages in Birth Injury Cases
Shoulder dystocia can result in birth injuries of varying scope and severity. If your son or daughter suffered a birth injury as a result of this complication, our team of attorneys can help your family recover financial compensation commensurate with your loss. Damages may be awarded for:
Pain and Suffering
A birth injury can cause a great deal of psychological trauma. This pain and suffering should not go uncompensated. Though it may be impossible to quantify your emotional loss, our team will work diligently to secure a just and fair resolution.
Birth complications can result in the need for unexpected medical treatment, often at great cost. Such medical treatment may be required for the mother, the child, or both. If your child has suffered a birth injury, we will work to recover damages for any and all related medical costs.
If your child's birth injury resulted in permanent damage, the odds are good that he or she will require rehabilitation. Such treatment may include physical rehabilitation, speech therapy, dexterity therapy, and emotional counseling. We can ensure that the cost of such rehabilitation is covered.
As no two cases are identical, it is impossible to predict what damages you and your family may be entitled to. However, typical damages in addition to those described above include compensation for loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, and loss of companionship in the event of a wrongful death.
Don't Wait Another Day
You have legal rights and the team at Chanfrau & Chanfrau can ensure these rights are protected. Let us work on your behalf to hold the negligent parties responsible for their actions. Contact our law office today.