Birth injuries can occur under a number of circumstances. In some cases, a birth injury sustained by a child could be caused by an unavoidable issue. However, there are many cases where a birth injury happens because a doctor failed to provide a mother and her child with adequate medical care. If your child developed shoulder dystocia due to the negligent actions of a medical practitioner, consult with an experienced Maryland birth injury attorney for infant should dystocia.
A parent should never have to deal with an injury to a child due to the actions of a doctor. At Bennett & Heyman, we are committed to fighting for newborns and families that were substantially impacted due to an infant birth injury. You do not have to pursue your claim alone. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your potential claim, contact Bennett & Heyman at (410) 429-7856. You may also use our online submission form to contact the firm.
Common Causes of Infant Shoulder Dystocia Injuries in Maryland
Infant shoulder dystocia is a birth injury that affects a child’s head and shoulders, and that could lead to a number of other severe medical conditions. Specifically, shoulder dystocia is when an infant’s shoulders and head become stuck in the mother’s birth canal. As a result, a child could have severe nerve damage, bone fractures, and other injuries due to remaining in the birth canal for an extended period of time.
Typically, shoulder dystocia is a rare injury that could be avoided if a doctor exercises care when delivering a child. The following is a list of common causes of infant shoulder dystocia injuries.
Cephalopelvic disproportion is a medical condition where the pelvis of a mother is too small to safely fit an infant through the birth canal. This condition can also occur if a child is larger than average. For example, if a child is nine pounds or more, this could make it difficult for them to exit through the birth canal. As a result, if a mother gives birth with this condition, the bones in the mother’s pelvis could trap the child and cause a severe shoulder injury.
If a doctor discovers that a mother has cephalopelvic disproportion, they should make a plan to deliver the child via cesarean section. If a doctor does not take steps to protect the child and mother, they could be held liable for their negligence.
As the due date for a child approaches, the child should naturally move their head towards the exit of the womb. However, some children may never move into position. Instead, the child could have their feet or buttocks near the opening of the womb; this is known as breech presentation.
Breech presentation is dangerous because the child’s head and shoulders can remain in the birth canal for a long period of time. This could lead to shoulder dystocia as the child will be squeezed by the muscles in the pelvis.
There are multiple procedures to avoid having a child in breech presentation. For example, a doctor could try to move the child in a non-invasive procedure called an external version. Alternatively, a cesarean section could be used to deliver the child safely. These options should be discussed with the mother to avoid a serious injury to an infant.
Use of Excessive Force When Delivering a Child
When delivering a child, doctors should ensure they use the appropriate amount of force. If a doctor pulls too hard or misuses a birthing tool like forceps, they could easily injure a fragile newborn.
There are many other causes of infant shoulder dystocia that are not discussed above. If your child was injured under different circumstances, our firm could help you seek the compensation you deserve. To learn more about proving a medical malpractice claim in Maryland, you should continue reading and speak with an experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorney.
Proving Negligence in a Shoulder Dystocia Malpractice Claim in Maryland
If your infant sustained a birth injury that resulted in shoulder dystocia, you should consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice claims are typically based on a theory of negligence. The plaintiff in the case must demonstrate how a doctor’s or hospital’s negligence resulted in their injury and any other losses. To prove negligence in a medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff must show the following elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached their duty of care (e.g., used excessive force when delivering a child)
- The plaintiff suffered an injury or other losses due to the defendant’s breach
- The plaintiff sustained an injury that is compensable in a court of law
Once these elements have been proven, a plaintiff can be awarded damages for their injuries. Additionally, if you are filing a birth injury lawsuit on behalf of your child, you should be aware of any statute of limitations changes that could affect the amount of time you have to file your case with a court.
Work with Our Experienced Maryland Lawyer for Infant Shoulder Dystocia Caused from a Birth Injury
If your child suffered a severe birth injury that led to shoulder dystocia, you should contact an experienced Maryland birth injury lawyer for infant shoulder dystocia. The dedicated legal team at Bennett & Heyman possess decades of combined legal experience, and we are ready to provide you with the legal representation that you deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your potential case, contact Bennett & Heyman at (410) 429-7856.