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Birth injuries such as shoulder dystocia can stem from negligence

Although giving birth can be an exciting time, it can also be nerve-wracking in Illinois. Unfortunately, sometimes the doctor who an expectant mother trusts to deliver a child fails to exercise a reasonable degree of care during the process. This can lead to serious birth injuries, with one of them being shoulder dystocia.

Shoulder dystocia occurs when one or both of a baby's shoulders are caught in the pelvis of the mother during delivery. In most cases, shoulder dystocia injuries will heal in six months to one year and will not lead to complications long-term. However, in severe cases, babies become permanently disabled or even die.

When a baby's shoulders can't go through the mom's pelvis region, the infant may become stuck in the mother's birth canal. As the body of the mother tries to force the child out, this can result in injuries as well as complications such as a broken collarbone or arm. The baby may also not get enough oxygen or even suffer from hand, arm or shoulder nerve damage.

Shoulder dystocia can also happen when a doctor negligently assists with delivery using a vacuum or forceps. It can also take place if a doctor fails to recognize and appropriately correct the shoulder problem or if the physician deviates from established standards of care. This can be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. The parents of a baby who has suffered birth injuries at the hands of a careless doctor have the right to try to hold the doctor accountable in Illinois.

Source:, "Birth Injury: Shoulder Dystocia", Nov. 14, 2014

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