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New York Shoulder Dystocia

Every New York Shoulder Dystocia Injury Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC is aware shoulder dystocia is a significant obstetrical emergency occurring in an average 1 percent of vaginal deliveries. Shoulder dystocia typically occurs during the difficult delivery of a large infant. Shoulder dystocia results from the inability of the shoulders of the infant to pass under the pubic bone of the mother. After the head of the infant has been delivered, the shoulders become obstructed by the pubic bone causing the head to retract and the chin to press against the perineum resulting in an indication known as turtle sign. Turtle sign is the retraction of the head which creates a red puffy face. According to the New York Shoulder Dystocia Injury Lawyer team at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC, if the infant is not delivered, shoulder dystocia can lead to fetal asphyxia due to umbilical cord compression in the birth canal.

Shoulder dystocia creates many complications. The most significant complication of shoulder dystocia is brachial plexus nerve damage. The brachial plexus nerves transmit the motor and sensory function nerve impulses to the shoulders, arms and hands. A difficult delivery often results in excessive pulling which increases tension on the shoulders leading to the stretching or tearing of the brachial plexus nerves. A brachial plexus nerve injury can lead to Klumpke’s Palsy, fetal hypoxia, Erbs Palsy, paralysis, Cerebral Palsy and wrongful death. The New York Shoulder Dystocia Attorney group at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC has learned clavicle fracture is a common shoulder dystocia complication, along with:

  • Humerus fracture
  • Contusion
  • Fetal asphyxia
  • Maternal postpartum hemorrhage
  • Maternal uterine rupture
  • Maternal symphyseal joint separation
  • Maternal nerve damage

Numerous risk factors may indicate the probability of a shoulder dystocia occurring during delivery. A previous birth resulting in shoulder dystocia is the best indicator the condition will recur. The New York Birth Injury Lawyer team at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC has found common risk factors also include maternal obesity, maternal age, abnormal pelvis, multiparity and macrosomia (large baby). The failure to recognize these risk factors by your obstetrician may entitle you to file a medical malpractice claim. If your child is suffering from the effects of shoulder dystocia, the New York Shoulder Dystocia Injury Attorney group at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC will fight for your legal rights and pursue just compensation for your injuries.

Many obstetricians are hesitant to document the occurrence of shoulder dystocia due to the fear of a medical malpractice claim arising from the birth injury. According to the research of the New York Shoulder Dystocia Injury Attorney team at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC, approximately 25 percent to 50 percent of shoulder dystocia cases are documented by the delivering obstetrician. If there has been injury to the child as a result of medical malpractice, you and your child may be entitled to compensation pursuant to New York Civil Procedure L & R 1411. This compensation can include medical expenses, rehabilitation, physical pain and any specialized care necessary.

  • Whether or not the birth injury will be actionable will depend on an area of law that pertains to medical malpractice, or negligence. If the doctor or health care provider acted irresponsibly or failed to act when appropriate, there may a cause of action. In order to have a cause of action for negligence, there must be the following elements present:The medical professional must have owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. It is important to note here that medical negligence can involve a physician but can also include a health care provider. A health care provider would be professionals that give preventative care, or physical therapists, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics and more.
  • The duty was somehow breached. This can be because the medical professional acted incorrectly, or failed to act when needed.
  • The breach of duty directly caused the injury. It is important to mention here that New York is one of only 13 that recognizes pure comparative negligence. This means that if the plaintiff was somehow negligent as well, their recovery will be reduced by their own liability, but not barred completely.
  • There must be damages caused by the breach of duty. This can be physical injury, emotional suffering, monetary or property loss.

If your child is suffering from shoulder dystocia, contact a New York Injury Lawyer at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, PLLC. Please call us at 800.696.9529, online or contact one of our offices in New York in New York City, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx or Staten Island, in Long Island in Nassau County or Suffolk County or in Westchester County for a free case evaluation.