Shoulder Dystocia Risk Factors

In New York and New Jersey

If the likelihood of shoulder dystocia is properly diagnosed there are medical maneuvers available to deliver the child safely. Or, if recognized early enough, a cesarean section can be performed.

Although this situation is rarely discussed with expectant mothers, statistics show that about one birth in a thousand involves some degree of brachial plexus trauma.

The most common risk factor for shoulder dystocia resulting in a brachial plexus injury is a larger than average birth size/weight of the baby, but that is not the only warning sign, nor does the condition exist only with oversized babies. Because brachial plexus injuries are preventable, these risk factors should be carefully monitored:

  • Large baby
  • Obese mother
  • Short or small mother
  • Overdue baby
  • Prolonged labor
  • Breech position
  • Flat, contracted or exceptionally small pelvis (platypelloid pelvis)
  • Above-normal weight gain during pregnancy
  • Advanced age of mother
  • Gestational diabetes
  • A prior birth of a child over 8.5 pounds
  • Any instance of shoulder dystocia in previous deliveries
  • A duration of eight or more years between deliveries

Your doctor or birth practitioner should have discussed these factors with you or taken a history, which has asked questions to obtain this information. Be sure that the facility you are choosing for the birth can accommodate any birthing emergencies, and that your practitioner has experience with shoulder dystocia and with preventing brachial plexus injuries.

Shoulder Dystocialawyers and Erb’s Palsy Attorneys

If your child was injured during the birthing process, please feel free to call or e-mail the Shoulder Dystocialawyers and Erb’s Palsy attorneys at Trief & Olk in New York. We may be able to help you get the compensation and justice you and your baby deserve.

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