What You Need to Know About Shoulder Dystocia in Pennsylvania

Shoulder dystocia occurs when a baby’s shoulders get stuck in the birth canal and doctors are required to perform certain maneuvers to help deliver the baby safely.  While there may be warning signs of shoulder dystocia – such as gestational diabetes – the condition can be difficult to predict.

How Common is Shoulder Dystocia in Pennsylvania?

Last December, the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority reported 316 reported incidents of shoulder dystocia during the time period from June 2004 to October 2008.  124 or 39% of those incidents resulted in bone fractures, brachial plexus injuries and death.

What Can be Done About Shoulder Dystocia?

According to the Patient Safety Authority, there are a few things that practitioners can do to lower the risks of shoulder dysotica.  Specifically, managing the risks of shoulder dystocia starts with identifying likely incidents of shoulder dystocia and talking to patients about it before delivery.  Once the problem presents itself, physicians should act immediately to minimize potential injury to the mother and child.  Regular simulation drills for all obstetric personnel should take place so that everyone knows what to do if a patient is suffering shoulder dystocia.  

If your child suffered a shoulder dysotica and proper care was not taken to protect your baby then you should contact a Pennsylvania birth injury lawyer for more information.