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It is estimated that as many as eight out of every 1,000 babies suffer brachial plexus birth injuries. Out of that number, the majority are caused by a birth complication called shoulder dystocia — a condition in which the baby’s head is delivered, but the shoulders get trapped behind the pubic bone. The injury occurs when the brachial plexus nerves on either side of the baby’s neck are stretched. In the most extreme case, an avulsion, the nerve is actually torn from the spinal cord, causing permanent neurological damage. Brachial plexus damage may lead to Erb’s palsy, Klumke’s palsy or Horner’s syndrome.
In fact, shoulder dystocia is not uncommon, and not every case of shoulder dystocia leads to a serious injury — provided the physician, midwife or nurse knows what to look for and how to proceed. But, what if, through negligence, carelessness or lack of proper training, the healthcare professional fails to note this medical emergency and follow the proper standards of care?
If your baby suffered an injury because of shoulder dystocia, you have the right to claim damages — money you will need to provide for your child’s medical needs now and tomorrow, and to compensate for pain and suffering. At the Louisville medical malpractice Franklin Law Group, we have more than 40 years of experience in helping parents and babies throughout Kentucky receive damages for their injuries.
There are some well-known indicators that your baby may be at risk for shoulder dystocia. They include:
When any of these warning signs are present, it should be a signal to your obstetrician or midwife that precautions should be taken. In certain circumstances, such as advanced maternal age, your physician should test you for gestational diabetes. If you have a history of large infants or there is suspicion you may be carrying a large infant, your physician may want to estimate the baby’s weight by doing an ultrasound..
Most importantly, when shoulder dystocia is present, your physician, nurse or midwife should follow the best practices of care through effective maneuvers to safely reposition the baby or give it more room.
Contact the Franklin Law Group for a free consultation
When we work with you, we provide you with some of the most skilled and experienced birth injury lawyers in Kentucky. Founding attorney Larry Franklin is the 2012 Lawyer of the Year in medical malpractice and is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an organization of the top 100 plaintiff’s attorneys in the United States.
Franklin Law Group, PSC
505 West Ormsby Avenue
Louisville, Kentucky 40203