San Antonio Shoulder Dystocia Lawyer

San Antonio Shoulder Dystocia Lawyer

Help for your baby from our shoulder dystocia attorney serving San Antonio

If your child has experienced shoulder dystocia during childbirth, you may be facing a challenging journey ahead. Our dedicated San Antonio shoulder dystocia lawyer represents families affected by birth injuries, including those stemming from shoulder dystocia. We are here to provide compassionate support, expert guidance, and relentless advocacy to help you seek justice and secure the compensation your family deserves. At the Pat Maloney: Accident & Injury Attorney, we are committed to standing by your side every step of the way.

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What is shoulder dystocia?

Per the Cleveland Clinic, “Shoulder dystocia is a condition that happens when one or both of your baby’s shoulders get stuck during vaginal delivery.” They go on to note, “The word dystocia comes from the Greek words ‘dys,’ meaning difficult, and ‘tokos,’ meaning birth. Shoulder dystocia is a medical emergency. Babies with this condition are usually born safely. But it can cause serious complications for you and your baby.”

Shoulder dystocia occurs in about 0.6 to 1.4% of babies weighing between five pounds, eight ounces and eight pounds, 13 ounces. This rate increases in bigger babies, with shoulder dystocia occurring in 5% to 9% of babies born weighing more than eight pounds, 13 ounces.

What are the symptoms of shoulder dystocia?

Shoulder dystocia occurs when the doctor can see part of the baby’s head emerging from the birth canal but the rest of the body isn’t able to be delivered. Doctors call this the “turtle sign” – meaning that the head will come out but then seems to go back into the birth canal, like a turtle retreating into its shell.

What are the risk factors for shoulder dystocia in San Antonio?

Several risk factors may increase the likelihood of shoulder dystocia during childbirth. These risk factors include:

  • Babies with a high birth weight, typically weighing over 8 pounds, 13 ounces, have an increased risk of shoulder dystocia. Fetal macrosomia can result from gestational diabetes or genetic factors.
  • Pregnant women with gestational diabetes or pre-existing diabetes have a higher risk of giving birth to larger babies, which can contribute to shoulder dystocia.
  • Women who are obese or have a higher body mass index (BMI) are more likely to experience shoulder dystocia during childbirth.
  • Long or difficult labor, particularly when the baby's head is delivered but the shoulders remain stuck, can increase the risk of shoulder dystocia.
  • Certain maternal pelvic shapes or structures may predispose women to shoulder dystocia. Pelvic abnormalities or a narrow pelvis can obstruct the baby's passage during delivery.
  • Women who have experienced shoulder dystocia during previous deliveries are at higher risk of recurrence in subsequent pregnancies.
  • Labor induction or augmentation with medications, especially in cases where the baby's size is not accurately estimated, may increase the risk of shoulder dystocia.
  • Older maternal age, typically over 35 years old, may be associated with an increased risk of shoulder dystocia.
  • Using forceps or vacuum extraction to assist with delivery can increase the risk of shoulder dystocia.
  • Babies born after 42 weeks of gestation (post-term pregnancy) may have a higher birth weight and increased risk of shoulder dystocia.

Healthcare providers must identify and manage potential risk factors during prenatal care and labor to reduce the likelihood of shoulder dystocia and minimize associated complications during delivery. Additionally, awareness of these risk factors can help expectant parents make informed decisions about their birth plan and delivery preferences. If you believe your child’s shoulder dystocia was caused by medical negligence, talk to our San Antonio shoulder dystocia lawyer today.

What are the complications of shoulder dystocia?

Shoulder dystocia can lead to a variety of complications for both the mother and the baby. Some of the potential complications of shoulder dystocia include:

  • One of the most common complications of shoulder dystocia is injury to the brachial plexus, a network of nerves that control movement and sensation in the arm and hand. This can result in conditions such as Erb's palsy or Klumpke's palsy, which may cause weakness, paralysis, or loss of sensation in the affected arm.
  • The baby may suffer fractures, particularly to the clavicle (collarbone) or humerus (upper arm bone), as a result of the forces exerted during delivery.
  • In severe cases of shoulder dystocia, prolonged obstruction of the baby's airway or blood flow during delivery can lead to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a type of brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation. HIE can result in developmental delays, cognitive impairment, and other neurological deficits.
  • Both the baby and the mother may experience trauma from shoulder dystocia, including lacerations, bruising, and tissue damage. Severe birth trauma may require medical intervention and long-term care.
  • Shoulder dystocia can also pose risks to the mother, including perineal tears, uterine rupture, and postpartum hemorrhage, due to the increased strain and difficulty of delivery.
  • Depending on the severity of the complications, babies affected by shoulder dystocia may experience long-term disabilities that require ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and support.

Healthcare providers need to be prepared to recognize and manage shoulder dystocia promptly during delivery to minimize the risk of complications. Early intervention, appropriate maneuvers, and effective communication among the healthcare team can help reduce the severity of shoulder dystocia-related injuries and improve outcomes for both the mother and the baby.

What are the treatments for shoulder dystocia?

A study found a significant decrease in neonatal brachial plexus injuries when the delivery team performed specific actions during a shoulder dystocia delivery. These actions included “an unequivocal announcement of the shoulder dystocia, calling for additional assistance from qualified personnel, and having an assistant announce the time from delivery of the fetal head every 30 seconds.”

There are a variety of maneuvers and delivery techniques a delivery team can use to minimize shoulder dystocia, with the last resort being “abdominal rescue,” which necessitates surgery.

What is the value of my San Antonio shoulder dystocia claim?

No two cases are exactly the same. Determining the value of a legal claim related to shoulder dystocia requires a thorough evaluation of various factors specific to the case. These factors include the severity of the injury, the impact on the child's life, the extent of medical treatment required, potential future medical needs, and other associated damages. Here are some key considerations:

  • Medical expenses: The value of the claim may include past, current, and anticipated future medical expenses related to the treatment of shoulder dystocia and any resulting complications. This can encompass hospital bills, surgical costs, rehabilitation expenses, medications, and assistive devices.
  • Pain and suffering: Compensation may be sought for the physical pain, emotional distress, and diminished quality of life experienced by the child and their family as a result of shoulder dystocia and its complications.
  • Long-term disability: If the child or mother experiences long-term disabilities or impairments due to shoulder dystocia, the claim may include damages for ongoing medical care, therapy, special education services, and other support needs.
  • Lost earning capacity: In cases where the child's or mother’s injuries prevent them from pursuing certain careers or activities in the future, compensation may be sought for lost earning capacity and diminished future earning potential.
  • Parental loss of consortium: Parents may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship, guidance, and support resulting from shoulder dystocia-related injuries.

To assess the value of your child's shoulder dystocia claim in San Antonio, it's advisable to consult with a qualified attorney experienced in medical malpractice and personal injury law. At Pat Maloney: Accident Injury Attorney, our attorney can evaluate the specifics of the case, gather evidence, calculate damages, and advocate for fair compensation on behalf of your child and your family. Each case is unique, so the value of your claim will depend on the individual circumstances involved.

Do you have a San Antonio shoulder dystocia attorney near me?

Pat Maloney: Accident & Injury Attorney is located at 239 E Commerce St. in the center of Downtown San Antonio, TX. We are the owner of one of the most beautiful and historic buildings in San Antonio and there’s plenty of parking nearby. If you cannot travel, we can arrange a phone or video conference, or an in-hospital visit.

Talk to our San Antonio shoulder dystocia lawyer today for help with your case

If you or your child has experienced the trauma of shoulder dystocia during childbirth, you deserve justice and support. At Pat Maloney: Accident Injury Attorney, we understand the complexities of these cases and are committed to advocating for your rights and securing the compensation you deserve. Don't face this challenge alone. Let our San Antonio shoulder dystocia attorney stand by your side, provide expert guidance, and fight tirelessly to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions. Your child's well-being and future are our top priorities. To speak to an attorney today, call our offices or fill out our contact form.