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New York birth injury focus: shoulder dystocia

Few things could possibly be more frightening for any involved person or family member to contemplate than something going wrong in an operating room.

And when babies are the focal point in any matter involving substandard care, concern ratchets up to an unfathomable degree.

Intuitively, we all know that. It is just a given. As we note on our Syracuse Birth Injury page at the New York personal injury law firm of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, "few things are as devastating to families as birth injuries."

We focus on one particular injury in today's post, a birth outcome termed shoulder dystocia that an article on that condition notes often points to medical malpractice when it leads to serious -- and sometimes permanent -- injuries.

That article notes the "rare but worrisome" nature of shoulder dystocia when it emerges to complicate a newborn's delivery. What happens with shoulder dystocia is that one or both of a baby's tiny shoulders become lodged in the mother's pelvic bone, which makes further movement through the birth canal exceedingly difficult.

The implications of that are obvious in extreme cases. A baby can be deprived of precious oxygen, break an arm, suffer nerve damage and have permanent cognitive problems.

And mothers, too, can suffer in shoulder dystocia cases, experiencing severe blood loss, cervix tearing and other complications.

It is reasonable to consider the possibility of medical negligence when things get to that point, given that a number of symptoms prior to delivery can often alert a medical team that shoulder dystocia might be an issue during delivery.

An unusually large baby is one indicator. A passed due date is another. A mother having dystocia complications in a prior delivery is something that an obstetrician should readily pick up on. Noting diabetes in a pregnant woman is a clear warning signal.

When such things are timely and reasonably detected, delivery precautions can be taken, with adverse shoulder dystocia outcomes being greatly mitigated in high numbers of cases. When they are not, catastrophic consequences can result.

Persons with questions or concerns regarding birth injuries or any other medical negligence-related matter can obtain prompt advice and proven legal guidance from an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney.

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