Birth Injury Due to Shoulder Dystocia

Dedicated Birth Injury Attorneys Serving Chicago and Surrounding Areas

Having a baby is one of the most exciting moments in many people’s lives. The one thing that most families want to be sure of is everything goes as planned, and there are no unexpected complications that could negatively affect the baby’s health.

And yet, complications do happen, every day, in thousands of deliveries every year; specifically, shoulder dystocia occurs in many of these deliveries, and can cause serious birth injuries if not properly addressed. If it does happen to you during the birth process, you may need to seek legal advice, particularly if you or your baby are now dealing with a lifetime of medical costs as a result of the incident.

The Chicago birth injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti have successfully handled a number of cases involving shoulder dystocia. Through this experience, we understand the risk factors associated with the condition, along with the standard of care that physicians should employ when a dystocia occurs. For example, our attorneys achieved a $2.9 million birth injury settlement for a child who suffered a brachial plexus injury when a physician failed to perform the proper disimpaction (separation of impaction in fractured bone) and placed excessive force on the infant's head and shoulder. Contact us today if you have any questions so that we can explain your options for the lifelong care of your family after a birth injury occurred.

What Is Shoulder Dystocia?

Shoulder dystocia occurs when an infant's shoulder becomes caught on its mother's pubic bone during delivery, ultimately damaging the baby’s nerves. If this happens, in order to dislodge the baby's shoulder, medical staff must be prepared to perform certain maneuvers or interventions to free the newborn in a safe and timely manner. In doing so, it is possible to prevent complications that could result in lifelong injuries. Specifically, if the baby suffers from shoulder dystocia, it can result in a number of different injuries in newborns, including:

  • Erb’s Palsy: Weakness in the arm and/or permanent loss of function due to damage to the brachial plexus (see Brachial Plexus Injuries)
  • A lack of oxygen to the brain during delivery, resulting in brain injury (see Birth Hypoxia)
  • Fractures to the baby's clavicle bone (collar bone) or humerus (the long bone in the upper arm)
  • Fetal Death

Shoulder dystocia can be anticipated, and in many cases is prevented, if a mother's risk factors are addressed early. Some risk factors for shoulder dystocia include gestational diabetes, excessive weight gain or obesity during pregnancy, a large (macrosomic) baby, or a mother with a history of having large babies.

Birth Injury Lawyers

If your child suffered a shoulder dystocia from medical negligence that resulted in a serious birth injury or death, we may be able to help you seek justice and compensation. We have a strong history of successful cases, including those addressing a variety of birth injuries. Please contact the Illinois personal injury lawyers of Levin & Perconti at 312-332-2872 or 877-374-1417 for a free consultation, or fill out our Contact Us form and an attorney will call you back shortly.