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What You Need to Know About Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder Dystocia occurs when a baby’s shoulders are unable to pass through the mother’s pelvic bone during birth.

Unfortunately, birth injuries are a risk that come with every child delivery. We hope that we never have to experience this first hand, but it is good to still be informed of the possibilities. Shoulder Dystocia is one of the more rare complications that can take place during child birth, occurring when the baby’s shoulders are unable to pass through the mother’s pelvic bone. Here is what you need to know about Shoulder Dystocia.

Possible Risks

The problem with Shoulder Dystocia is that the doctor may not always recognize the problem immediately, so they may continue to try and pull the baby out. This could cause harm to the baby, possible leading to:

  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Nerve damage
  • Partial or total paralysis in arms
  • Oxygen deprivation (birth asphyxia)

Shoulder Dystocia could also impact the mother, possibly causing a uterine rupture, lacerations, and even hemorrhaging.

Brachial Plexus Palsy

The brachial plexus refers to the group of nerves that controls the movement of the shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers. Any damage to these nerves can lead to a condition called Brachial Plexus Palsy. The first form is Erb’s Palsy, which is when the upper nerves are damaged and the other is called Klumpke’s Palsy, when the lower nerves are damaged. This could result in partial or total paralysis of the affected arm(s).


The risk of Shoulder Dystocia is increased due to a few different factors including:

  • Using an epidural
  • Pregnancy with twins or more
  • Delayed or induced labor
  • Family/Personal history of Shoulder Dystocia

Doctors should take note of any of these factors that could increase the risk of Shoulder Dystocia occurring so that they can take extra precautions. Some doctors may call for a Cesarean section to avoid the risks altogether.

Has Your Child Suffered Birth Injuries as a Result of Medical Malpractice? Contact The Snyder Law Group Today

The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients through 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 negligence 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 that result from medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car or truck accidents and have secured hundreds of millions in verdict settlements. Give us a call at (410)-843-3476 for a free case evaluation. You can also visit our and follow us on Facebook,Twitter,Google +, and LinkedIn for more information.


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This entry was posted on Friday, June 15th, 2018 at 3:15 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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