When an infant’s shoulders become trapped in the mother’s birth canal, the happiness of birth can be short-lived. Shoulder dystocia is an obstetric emergency that can happen without warning, leaving families wrestling with the aftermath of injuries that could have been completely preventable.

Consulting a Philadelphia shoulder dystocia lawyer on your case provides assurance and peace of mind during these tough times. Our well-versed birth injury attorneys at Lowenthal & Abrams will provide a detailed investigation into the circumstances surrounding the injury that may include gathering medical records, expert testimony, and assessing liability.

Understanding Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia is a childbirth complication that happens when one or both of the infant’s shoulders become stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone after the baby’s head has emerged during labor and delivery. This situation can be dangerous and requires immediate medical attention.

Well-known risk factors for shoulder dystocia include:

  • Prolonged labor
  • Maternal obesity
  • Maternal diabetes
  • Fetal macrosomia
  • Maternal pelvic abnormalities

Our Philadelphia attorneys understand that shoulder dystocia is a serious medical issue that requires quick recognition and management to prevent potential complications. Healthcare providers need to be trained in recognizing and managing this condition during childbirth. When a person has been injured due to medical negligence, our well-versed lawyers can investigate all facts of a case to create a strong claim.

Common Shoulder Dystocia Injuries

Shoulder dystocia can result in complications for both the mother and the infant, and a diligent Philadelphia attorney can advocate for an injured party so that fair compensation can be awarded. A brachial plexus injury is a common complication that results in weakness or paralysis of the arm due to nerve damage. The baby may also experience fractures, especially in the clavicle. With a prolonged lack of oxygen, the baby may also have brain damage such as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

The mother may also sustain injuries such as hemorrhaging. She may experience excessive bleeding as well as uterine rupture.

Techniques to Prevent Injuries

To prevent injuries, medical professionals must use various maneuvers and techniques to release the impacted shoulder of the baby. These maneuvers may include the McRoberts maneuver. This is a maneuver where the mother’s legs are sharply flexed up toward her abdomen. Another technique is suprapubic pressure, which is applying pressure to the mother’s abdomen above the pubic bone. The Woods screw maneuver involves rotating the baby’s shoulders to release them.

Statute of Limitations in Birth Injuries

A statute of limitations is a set time limit when a person may bring a lawsuit. The purpose of the statute is to promote fairness and speed in the legal system by precluding parties from delaying legal action indefinitely. Under 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated § 5524(2), the standard deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is two years from the date the injury occurred or was discovered.

Concerning minors, the statute of limitations is extended until the child reaches the age of majority. In these cases, the lawsuit may be filed up until the child’s 20th birthday. If the injured party fails to bring the shoulder dystocia lawsuit within the relevant time, they will most likely be unable to receive compensation, but our Philadelphia attorneys can examine all the facts of a case to ensure that every possible compensation option is accounted for.

Call a Philadelphia Shoulder Dystocia Attorney About Your Claim Today

Shoulder dystocia cases are complicated. They require the expertise of a skilled Philadelphia shoulder dystocia lawyer who has extensive experience in handling medical malpractice claims. When you or your child has sustained injuries due to shoulder dystocia during childbirth, do not hesitate to reach out to our firm.

By pursuing legal action, you can hold medical providers accountable and secure the compensation you deserve for you and your family. Contact us today for a free consultation.


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