James P. Howe

     Attorney At  Law   

36 South County Commons Way C6     

Wakefield, RI 02879     
(401) 788-0600    









           Shoulder Dystocia Lawyer, Shoulder Dystocia Attorney






Shoulder dystocia, a birth injury, is one of the most dangerous complications of vaginal delivery encountered by the obstetrician. To avoid shoulder dystocia, all obstetricians must be familiar with the maneuvers used to effect delivery of impacted shoulders and must be prepared to institute these maneuvers immediately in a crisis situation.
Complications of Shoulder Dystocia
Shoulder dystocia is a birthing complication in which the fetus’ shoulders are too large for the birth canal and subsequently become trapped behind the pubic bone after the delivery of the head. Complications from shoulder dystocia can cause a range of injuries to occur, such as a broken arm or clavicle, and strain of the nerves traveling through the neck – a condition doctors call Brachioplexus Palsy. Another complication of shoulder dystocia is Erb’s Palsy.
Warning Signs of Shoulder Dystocia
In many cases, doctors can anticipate and prevent this condition by watching for early warning signs of shoulder dystocia such as gestational diabetes, obesity in the mother or excessive weight gain during the pregnancy. Expectant mothers with a small pelvis, those who’ve previously given birth to a large baby, and those in post-term pregnancy are also at risk of having a child with shoulder dystocia.
In most instances, even if unforeseen complications arise, your doctor should be familiar with the methods necessary to ensure a healthy delivery, and prevent shoulder dystocia. Despite the medical community’s efforts to develop methods to ensure safe deliveries, 3 in 1000 births suffer an injury to the brachial plexus as a result of a shoulder dystocia. In many shoulder dystocia cases, medical negligence is to blame.
Shoulder Dystocia and Medical Negligence
Examples of medical negligence responsible for shoulder dystocia include:
Failure to obtain a proper obstetrical history.
Failure to check for or manage diabetes during pregnancy
Failure to manage excessive weight gain during maternity
Failure to assign qualified personnel to the delivery room
Failure to offer the option of cesarean section
Failure to manage shoulder dystocia
Exerting pressure on the abdomen during birth, which actually worsens shoulder dystocia
Exerting excessive force or traction on the head during delivery
Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors
Treatment of Shoulder Dystocia
Some shoulder dystocia injuries heal on their own and many children improve or recover by 3-4 months of age. More severe shoulder dystocia cases improve slowly over 18-21 months and by two years any recovery that will occur should have occurred. Treatment avenues include physical and occupational therapy and in some cases, surgery.
If your newborn suffered shoulder dystocia resulting in Erb’s Palsy or an injury to their Brachial Plexus during birth and you would like to know more about your legal rights, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey H. Rasansky.

Contact us by Email or call us today at  (401) 788-0600 to speak with a someone from our  firm..


James P. Howe Law Offices
36 South County Commons Way C6, Wakefield RI 02879
Phone : (401) 788-0600   Fax: (401) 788-0605

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