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What is shoulder dystocia?

Though having a baby is one of the most joyous occasions in a woman’s life, sometimes the event comes with complications. These issues, which sometimes fall into the category of birth injuries, can be harmful or even deadly to both the mother and child. One such birth injury is called shoulder dystocia.

Shoulder dystocia happens when the baby's shoulders get stuck during delivery. Because this happens during the birth, predicting the situation can be rather difficult. But if your doctor is aware that the baby is probably too large for traditional birth and does not recommend a cesarean section, they may be held liable.

Typically, shoulder dystocia deals with the sizes of the mother and the baby. Larger babies, especially those born after their due date, are more likely to have shoulders too wide to fit past the mother's pelvic bone. If the mother is diabetic, obese or has already had a baby who suffered a shoulder dystocia, she may be prone to similar delivery outcome. Other factors like having an epidural, inducing labor or carrying twins may also increase the likelihood of the injury. Sometimes it happens even when there are no risk factors.

There are usually few long-term effects associated with shoulder dystocia. But depending on the situation, the baby may experience nerve damage or paralysis. In addition, being stuck may lead to oxygen deprivation, which can cause serious long-term developmental challenges. The mother may also experience tearing and heavy bleeding.

If your baby experienced shoulder dystocia during birth and it caused serious damage to either itself or you, you may be entitled to compensation. A San Antonio lawyer may be able to assess the situation and recommend a plan of action.

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