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The Dangers of Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder Dystocia occurs when an infant’s shoulders get stuck in the mother’s pelvic area.

Though Shoulder Dystocia is rare, it is a birth injury that can cause significant damage to a child during childbirth. It occurs when either one of both of an infant’s shoulders get stuck in the mother’s pelvis. Majority of the time, injuries that occur as a result of Shoulder Dystocia will heal on their own, but in some cases, a child can be permanently disabled. Here are some of the dangers of Shoulder Dystocia.


When Shoulder Dystocia occurs, the risk of injury isn’t only present in the baby. The mother can also suffer from injuries and complications as a result. This is because of the amount of pressure that builds up when the mother’s body is trying to force the baby out. Infants may suffer from lack of oxygen, a broken arm or collarbone, or nerve damage to the shoulders, arms, and hands. Mothers can experience hemorrhaging, rupturing of the uterus, or tears in the cervix, rectum, and vagina.

Erb’s Palsy

Also known as Brachial Plexus Palsy, this is one of the severe injuries that can occur as a result of Shoulder Dystocia. This is when the nerves in the baby’s arms and spinal cord are damaged, leading to loss of movement and control of the arms, hands, and fingers. Often times, this is a condition that will subside after a few months, but in more severe cases, it can be a permanent disability.

Risk Factors

Most commonly, Shoulder Dystocia occurs because an infant is abnormally large or the mother’s pelvis is too small. However, there are some factors that can increase the risk of Shoulder Dystocia occuring. Here are just a few:

  • The mother is obese
  • The mother has diabetes
  • Multiple babies in one birth
  • The baby is past their due date
  • The mother is small statured or has an abnormal pelvic shape

Has Your Child Suffered from Shoulder Dystocia as a Result of a Medical Mistake? Contact The Snyder Law Group Today

The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents, and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts settlements*. Please visit our website,, for more information and follow us on Facebook,Twitter,Google +, and LinkedIn.


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This entry was posted on Friday, October 19th, 2018 at 2:27 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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