Having a child is one of the most exciting events anyone can ever experience. It’s something that’s often the source of joy for all family members, especially the parents. Families trust physicians and other healthcare providers to ensure the safety of the mother and the child during the process of labor and delivery. Even years after the birth of a child, the event is memorable for a lot of reasons. Unfortunately, there are some situations that can cause the birth of a child to be remembered for the wrong reasons, such as complications that occurred.

Sometimes the types of injuries that happen during childbirth could have been prevented. There are even some injuries that are severe and long-lasting that didn’t have to happen. Erb’s Palsy and brachial plexus are examples of birth injuries that are preventable. Erb’s Palsy and brachial plexus occur as a result of compressing, pulling, tearing and stretching of nerves in the babies shoulder during the delivery process. This is known as shoulder dystocia and it happens when the child’s shoulder is lodged behind the pubic symphysis bone of the mother.

The reason why shoulder dystocia is a preventable condition is because there are often signs that a problem exists, which provides an opportunity to make the necessary adjustments and move forward with the birth using procedures that will mitigate the problem and facilitate a safe delivery. Failure to heed the warning signs and intervene appropriately can result in severe injuries to the child. Medical staff should not simply move forward with the delivery when the child’s shoulder is stuck without a strategy.

Healthcare providers receive years of training to ensure they’re able to provide effective care to patients. This is critically important as it relates to labor and delivery. For instance, in the event that shoulder dystocia occurs, there’s a procedure called the McRobert’s maneuver that can be used to navigate the problem and avoid damage to the infant’s nerves. McRobert’s maneuver involves positioning the mother’s legs into a position that causes them to be flexed. After that occurs, suprapubic pressure is facilitated, which is pressure to the lower abdomen. These actions enable the physician to rotate the baby so that the shoulder is freed without causing any damage.

Many physicians are of the opinion that just about every baby can be delivered without any damage or physical harm when the medical team is properly trained and skilled. There are methods for delivering babies that are proven to be effective and have been used for years to overcome challenges and problems. Even when shoulder dystocia occurs, it doesn’t mean that injury to the baby is inevitable.

Unfortunately, it’s often negligence that causes injuries to babies during the birthing process. For instance, failure to respond promptly to a shoulder dystocia or a delay in performing a Cesarean section are examples of negligence that can result in life threatening injuries to babies. Another type of negligence is not properly oxygenating a newborn after birth.

There is a long list of issues that occur as a result of negligence on the part of medical staff. Others include the misuse of labor-stimulation drugs, not recognizing fetal distress, improperly using forceps and failing to respond to compression of the umbilical cord. Another form of negligence is allowing a woman’s pregnancy to last longer than 41 weeks without performing the right testing to assess the condition of the mother and the baby.

It’s worth noting that mild instances of Erb’s palsy are common and the baby will usually recover within a few months. However, the cases that are more severe often take years for the child to fully recover. During instances when the condition does not improve, surgery or physical therapy may be required to resolve the problem. When and whether or not a child with Erb’s palsy should endure surgery varies as there isn’t always a general consensus among doctors. Some believe surgery should occur after several months, while others believe it should occur after a year.

By its very definition, a dystocia birth is difficult and can affect either one or both of the child’s shoulders. However, the level of difficulty does not negate the fact that healthcare professionals should have the skill to overcome the problem by responding quickly and appropriately based on best medical practices. Failure to do so can lead to a long list of problems, including damage to the child’s brain.

There are various risks factors associated with Erb’s palsy, such as obesity, gestational diabetes, the baby being in the breech position, having a large fetus, a small pelvic area and excessive weight gain by the mother. This is why it’s imperative that healthcare providers possess knowledge of these conditions. Having that knowledge can enable them to prepare appropriately during the delivery process. If you have been affected by the negligence of a medical provider, contact Zayed Law Offices for a consultation