Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder Dystocia Attorneys in Louisville

Shoulder dystocia can be a frightening emergency in the delivery room. This happens when the vaginal delivery of an infant has slowed or stopped because one or both of the infant’s shoulders are lodged behind the birth canal. The head may have already delivered, but one or both shoulders will require specific maneuvering to deliver.

This is a true medical emergency because, once the head is delivered, the infant cannot breathe until the rest of the body is delivered. A newborn can survive for a few minutes in this situation without experiencing permanent harm, but after that time brain damage may set in. Our delivery room injury attorneys in Louisville understand the severity of these birth injuries and work to secure maximum compensation for your case.

If your child suffered any type of injury as a result of shoulder dystocia, call the Louisville birth injury lawyers at Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC at (502) 244-7772 . We can analyze the situation and help you determine whether you have a case.

Health Conditions Caused By Mismanaged Shoulder Dystocia

Most cases of shoulder dystocia occur without warning, making it particularly important for the attending doctor to manage the situation in a calm and efficient manner. The specific type of impaction must be identified, and the appropriate maneuver applied to relieve the impacted shoulder and allow for delivery. Any delays or errors should be identified and the at-fault healthcare professional should be held accountable.

If shoulder dystocia is not immediately and appropriately managed, this can have disastrous consequences. Delays can cause brain damage, and a misuse or excess of force can cause physical trauma that causes temporary or permanent paralysis.

The two primary consequences of mismanaged shoulder dystocia are:

  • Physical trauma to the shoulder, specifically the brachial plexus nerves, which can result in permanent paralysis of the shoulder and upper arm (Erb’s palsy) or forearm, wrist, and hand (Klumpke’s palsy).
  • Birth asphyxia or hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), both conditions caused by a lack of oxygen or blood to the brain, which can cause brain damage. This can lead to cerebral palsy and other lifelong disabilities.

Could Your Child’s Shoulder Dystocia Injury Been Avoided?

There are certain risk factors that make shoulder dystocia more likely for some patients than others. Having these risk factors does not guarantee that shoulder dystocia will be encountered during delivery, but knowledge of them can help doctors prepare for the possibility of encountering the condition.

Risk factors of shoulder dystocia include:

  • Maternal pre-existing diabetes or gestational diabetes
  • Shoulder dystocia in previous pregnancy
  • The size and weight of a large baby
  • The age of the mother 
  • Being pregnant with multiples
  • Being overweight

If an elderly pregnant woman whose medical history shows obesity, previous delivery or an excessively sized baby, and diabetes, her doctor should expect the possibility of shoulder dystocia during delivery and plan appropriately. In some cases, it may be necessary to schedule a planned cesarean section delivery. Failing to take steps to accommodate the possibility of shoulder dystocia or failing to take appropriate care during the delivery would be a departure from expected medical standards of care in consideration of the woman’s medical history. A deviation from the expected standard of care could be a breach of the doctor’s duty of care to their patient. If that breach of duty resulted in shoulder dystocia injuries, the doctor may be held legally liable for medical negligence. 

Not all cases of shoulder dystocia injuries will be the result of medical negligence, however. Our skilled Louisville medical malpractice lawyers can help you determine whether or not you have a viable medical negligence case. Speaking with an experienced shoulder dystocia injury lawyer in Louisville can help investigate your case and determine your legal position.

Getting Access to Medical Records

In medical negligence cases, an assessment of your medical records is very important to establish what kind of care the victim received and whether they were treated according to the expected standard of care. Although they are your medical records, and you have every right to get access to them when you request a copy from your doctor, there is no guarantee that your doctor will cooperate with you and make the complete records available to you in a timely manner. You may need the assistance of an experienced medical negligence attorney to go through the courts to compel your doctor to release your medical records. Getting timely access to your medical records is important because your medical malpractice lawyer in Louisville has a limited time to review them and make a determination about your legal position.

What if I Cannot Afford an Attorney?

Some people are afraid to pursue their legal rights because they believe that they cannot get legal help if they do not have the money for upfront legal fees. With Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC, we believe that money should not be a factor in whether you can get justice for the harm you or your child suffered. That is why you will not pay any upfront costs if we represent you. We have fought for injured victims across Kentucky since 1986, recovering the maximum financial compensation for every client we represent. We do this because we understand how important financial compensation is to rebuilding your life after your injury.

Get Legal Help From Our Louisville Shoulder Dystocia Attorney Today

Your child deserves fair, complete compensation if he or she was injured due to mismanaged shoulder dystocia, or any medical error. For over 30 years, Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC has fought for families across Kentucky in these highly complex and emotional matters. Our Louisville shoulder dystocia lawyers are here to offer the support and legal representation you need and fight for maximum compensation for each client. For experienced and compassionate legal help with your personal injury claim, contact our Louisville personal injury lawyers today.

Call (502) 244-7772 or contact us online for your free, confidential case evaluation.

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