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Shoulder dystocia and its harmful effects

Massachusetts residents who are expecting a child are often filled with excitement and joy. They may have already taken steps to prepare for the baby's arrival, including choosing a name and putting together the baby's room. However, when expecting parents are wrapped up in the excitement of an upcoming delivery, they may forget that very serious medical issues may arise that, if improperly handled by a medical professional, can cause extensive harm to the child and the mother.

One of these medical conditions is shoulder dystocia. His issue arises when a child's shoulders fail to pass through the mother's pelvis, causing the child to be stuck in the birth canal. The pressure caused by the mother's body may lead to decreased oxygen flow to the baby, broken collar or arm bones, and nerve damage. The child may suffer brain damage, Erb's palsy, or even death. The mother can suffer, too, potentially suffering hemorrhaging, uterine rupturing, or tearing of the cervix.

Though many effects of shoulder dystocia are caused by natural birth complications, the potential damage can be exacerbated if a medical professional is negligent during the delivery. Using too much pressure with forceps or a vacuum, for example, can cause broken bones, nerve damage, and other complications. Caring for these injuries can be heart-breaking and financially difficult. This is why parents need to be aware of the potential medical issues their child may face, as well as what they can do in the aftermath of such an incident.

Parents of a child who suffers a birth injury may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit if the harm was caused by doctor error or negligence. Proving this can be difficult, but skilled legal professionals are willing and able to help parents fight for what they deserve. If a case is settled or won, then the family may be able to move forward with their lives together with financial stability and the ability to obtain any needed medical care.

Source: FindLaw, "Birth Injury: Shoulder Dystocia," accessed on Aug. 14, 2015

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