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Shoulder Dystocia Solicitors - Medical Negligence Compensation Claim Lawyers

If you would like legal advice at no cost about claiming compensation for shoulder dystocia just use the helpline, complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices and a specialist medical negligence solicitor will telephone you with no further obligation. Following a review of the circumstances of the injury and of the medical records you will be advised whether your child has a reasonable claim and if so, what steps you should take to protect your legal right to receive compensation. Our shoulder dystocia solicitors use no win no fee arrangements to represent their clients which means that if your shoulder dystocis solicitor doesn't achieve settlement then no professional costs are payable and the client does not receive a bill for legal services.

Shoulder Dystocia

Inadequately managed shoulder dystocia gives rise to numerous medical negligence compensation claims for serious injury every year. Shoulder dystocia is feared by gynaecologists because of its unpredictability and due to the damage that can be caused to the infant. The condition occurs during childbirth, when an infants shoulder becomes trapped and lodged behind the mothers pubic bone. It should be distinguished from mere difficulty with delivery of the shoulder which does often occur due to the mothers position on the delivery bed and requires only a positional change to resolve the problem. Healthcare professionals involved in childbirth should be aware of the risk factors and should take care to properly manage any developing situation. If you think that your child's condition has arisen as a result of medical negligence, contact our shoulder dystocia solicitors for advice at no cost.

Good management of potential shoulder dystocia should involve:-

  • Early recognition or raised levels of suspicion as a result of:

    • large baby
    • late delivery
    • obese mother
    • maternal diabetes
    • previous history
    • extended labour

  • Appropriate staff being involved in the event of any suspicion which may include:

    • senior midwife
    • 2nd midwife
    • senior obstetrician
    • anaesthetist
    • paediatrician

Multiple Injuries

There are a number of injuries that a child can suffer as a result of shoulder dystocia including:-

  • Neurological damage as a result of a reduction in oxygen being delivered to the infants brain.

  • Skeletal injury usually involving fracture of the clavicle or humorous.

  • Brachial plexus injuries caused as a result of damage to a network of nerves running from the infants neck, across the shoulders to the tips of the fingers specifically:-

    • Klumpke's Palsy which is a paralysis of the thoracic nerves often causing the hand to be limp with immovable fingers.

    • Horners syndrome caused by damage to the sympathetic nervous system which causes the eyelid to droop and the affected pupil is smaller than in the other eye.

    • Complete Brachial Plexus Palsy which occurs when all five nerves of the brachial plexus are affected resulting in paralysis of the entire arm often associated with Horners syndrome.

    • Erbs palsy which is caused by paralysis of the fifth and sixth cervical nerves resulting in the arm being turned towards the body and the hand is turned backward with no movement at the elbow.

Recognised Protocols

Accepted medical protocol exists to relieve the problem and may include:

  • applying pressure over the mother's pubic area
  • cutting a deep episiotomy
  • repositioning the mother
  • breaking the baby's clavicle bone on purpose
  • performing an emergency caesarean section
  • performing the McRobert's manoeuvre
  • applying traction in a horizontal plane
  • manoeuvring and changing the position of the baby
  • breaking the mother's pelvic bone

HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 634

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here