Shoulder Dystocia: Causes and Concerns for New Jersey Parents

birth injury lawyer hazlet njThe number of births around the globe annually is astounding, but not every delivery goes smoothly. At times, there are complications, such as shoulder dystocia, that can lead to severe and life-long injuries for the infant. These kind of birth injuries are particularly devastating for parents because they are unanticipated. It can lead to complications that impact the infant for the rest of his or her life, and that can have a serious emotional and financial impact on the parents.

What is a Shoulder Dystocia Birth Injury in Piscataway, NJ?

Shoulder dystocia occurs during the delivery process, and the occurrence of it is dependent on how the infant moves through the birth canal. After the infant’s head has been delivered, one or both of the baby’s shoulders can get lodged behind the mother’s pelvis. This serious predicament complicates the natural birth process because it can be difficult to free the baby at this point.

Can Shoulder Dystocia Lead to Further Injuries to New Jersey Babies?

Experts estimate that about 20 percent of babies who experience shoulder dystocia deliveries will incur some sort of injury. The types of injuries likely to occur after a shoulder dystocia delivery include:

  • Fractures in the collarbone or arm
  • Nerve damage to the shoulder, arm or hand (brachial plexus injury)
  • Birth asphyxia (oxygen deprivation for the infant that leads to brain damage)
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Disabilities
  • Contusions
  • Erb’s palsy (arm is paralyzed or numb)
  • Lack of oxygen causing death

The majority of injuries sustained after shoulder dystocia can be healed with proper treatment within six to 12 months. In other cases, sustained injuries may cause permanent disability or even death. The mother may also sustain injuries during this delivery complication.

Common Causes for Shoulder Dystocia in New Brunswick, NJ

Multiple factors may have contributed to your shoulder dystocia delivery. Risk factors for this type of delivery include:

  • The pregnancy has gone past the due date
  • Labor has been induced
  • The mother’s pelvis is too small or abnormally shaped
  • The mother is obese
  • The baby is very large
  • Multiple babies are being delivered at once
  • The mother has gestational diabetes
  • The mother has gotten an epidural

When these conditions are present, the likelihood of experiencing shoulder dystocia increases. Despite this, there is very little that healthcare providers can do to predict or prevent shoulder dystocia from occurring. Shoulder dystocia may be a result of a medical error when a vacuum or forceps have been used during the delivery process. This injury may also result in a lack of training for the provider.

Contact a Hazlet Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Consultation About Your Shoulder Dystocia Case in New Jersey

Were you or a loved one injured due to shoulder dystocia in New Jersey? Then you need to talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible for guidance on how to proceed. The Hazlet birth injury attorneys at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC are prepared to assist you with your legal claim. We represent victims of negligent surgeons, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists throughout New Jersey, including Middletown, Manalapan, Piscataway and East Brunswick. Call us today at (866) 567-0135 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation. Our main office is located at Park Village, 25 Village Court Highway, #35 Hazlet, NJ 07730, and we also have offices in East Brunswick.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.