Of all the negative events that occur in a delivery room, shoulder dystocia may be the most serious. Even experienced doctors panic when an otherwise normal delivery suddenly deteriorates into an emergency situation.
There are some risk factors for shoulder dystocia, namely diabetes in the mother or a history of big babies. Much more often than not, however, shoulder dystocia happens suddenly and without warning.
Sometimes a baby drops normally though the birth canal, but then shifts at the last minute. The baby becomes wedged in mother’s cervix. Time is critical, because the umbilical cord continues to drop and can wrap itself around the baby’s neck. The doctors have less than five minutes before the baby suffers brain damage due to low oxygen, and less than ten minutes before the baby asphyxiates.
Boston-area medical providers are trained to use the McRoberts Maneuver, in which one provider pins the mother’s hips against her abdomen to widen the birth canal. Another provider gently tugs on the baby. This method is effective, but in less than 50% of shoulder dystocia cases.
If the McRoberts Maneuver fails, many doctors get desperate:
If your child has suffered a birth injury due to a doctor’s negligence or fear, consult a Boston-area birth injury lawyer right away.
The attorneys serve the entire state of Massachusetts in addition to affiliating with lawyers in other states to handle cases outside of Massachusetts.
Boston Attorneys Win Highest Injury Verdict in Massachusetts in 2011 & 2012.