Medical malpractice lawyers have recently learned that The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) will require all maternity staff undergo additional training practiced on accurate models or mannequins to improve the effects on mothers and their babies who are born with shoulder dystocia.
Shoulder dystocia is when the baby’s head has been born but one or both of the shoulders becomes stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone, preventing the birth of the baby’s body. The condition can cause additional birth injuries to the child, including brachial plexus injury (BPI), a fracture of the collar bone or arm or oxygen deprivation which can lead to brain injury resulting in severe disability or death.
In addition to birth injuries suffered by the baby, mothers are also a risk for injury caused by shoulder dystocia. Moms can suffer hemorrhage, uterine ruptures, severe lacerations or vaginal fistula, a condition in which a fistula (a hole) develops between either the rectum and the vagina or between the bladder and vagina.
According to the revised guidelines, additional shoulder dystocia training could help to reduce the preventable injury and ensure that maternity staff is capable of successfully handling an emergency situation. Researchers have reported a very low rate of hypoxic ischemic injury if the head-to-body delivery time is less than 5 minutes. Therefore, the quicker a shoulder dystocia delivery is managed, the less likely unnecessary additional trauma will occur.
In cases when shoulder dystocia has presented during birth, physicians and medical staff must act quickly to avoid further complications or injury. In order to resolve shoulder dystocia and fit the baby’s shoulders through the mother’s pelvis, a series of maneuvers are necessary to successfully deliver the baby. In most cases, repositioning maneuvers will resolve the shoulder dystocia and retrigger active birth movement. However, it is important that the physician uses the correct maneuvers as quickly as possible, usually no more than five to six minutes, to reduce risks.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling cases involving birth and brain injuries. Our extremely skilled team of medical malpractice attorneys and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a birth injury, brain injury or any other type of personal injury as a result of negligent care received by a medical provider, contact the medical malpractice attorneys of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More