Though shoulder dystocia is rare, it is a potential risk during any vaginal delivery birth in an Arizona hospital. Shoulder dystocia occurs when an infant's shoulders get stuck in the mother's pelvis during childbirth. Most of the injuries that are caused by shoulder dystocia are minor, but a small percentage of these injuries can lead to permanent disability.
Most shoulder dystocia incidents occur because an infant is too large to fit through its mother's birth canal. If a baby is unusually large or carried beyond its due date, the risk of shoulder dystocia may increase. Infants born to obese mothers and mothers who suffer from diabetes may be more likely to incur this type of an injury.
Babies who incur shoulder dystocia may have broken bones or nerve damage in their hands, arms or shoulders. Most of these injuries heal after about 6 to 12 months and do not lead to long-term disability. However, lack of oxygen in some shoulder dystocia incidents can cause permanent brain damage. Brachial plexus palsy, a condition that affects movement, can be caused by severe nerve damage from shoulder dystocia.
Some doctors recommend Cesarean delivery to mothers that have a high risk of experiencing shoulder dystocia. If a doctor fails to recognize or correct shoulder dystocia during a birth and the baby suffers harm as a result, the baby's parents may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney in order to see whether the filing of a lawsuit against the negligent health care practitioner or facility would be an appropriate way of seeking compensation for the anticipated losses.