Arizona personal injury: What is shoulder dystocia?

Whether giving birth in Arizona or elsewhere, there are number of birth injuries that can occur during labor and delivery. One such personal injury that is suffered is called shoulder dystocia. This type of injury can lead to a child experiencing temporary to permanent damages, including pain and paralysis -- among others. It can also cause of variety of health risks for the mother.

The situation occurs when a baby's shoulders get stuck inside a mother's body during a vaginal delivery. This is a complication that health care providers cannot typically prevent or predict. However, by taking the appropriate actions when such a condition does occur, any major complications may be avoided.

While it is impossible to say for sure if one might experience shoulder dystocia during the birthing process, the medical community has identified certain factors that if met may put one at higher risk. These include if the mother has diabetes, if labor is induced, if the baby is large, if the baby is overdue and if the mother is carrying multiples. Of course, shoulder dystocia can occur in women who are without any of these or other risk factors.

For an infant, complications associated with shoulder dystocia include injury to nerves -- sometimes causing paralysis -- and lack of adequate oxygen to the brain -- sometimes resulting in brain damage or even death. For a mother, complications might include severe bleeding and tearing of the female anatomy or the rectum. In order to avoid serious or fatal consequences, it is up to medical staff to quickly identify the problem and take the appropriate measures.

It is believed that shoulder dystocia does not occur on a frequent basis, but when it does the failure to perform proper medical procedures in order to address the issue in a timely manner can lead to severe or even fatal outcomes -- for the mother and/or child. Anyone in Arizona who feels that he or she has experienced a personal injury related to this type of birth injury may have legal recourse. Legal claims may be filed against medical staff and the facility of treatment in an attempt to seek compensation for any damages sustained.

Source:, "Shoulder dystocia", Accessed on Feb. 10, 2016

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